What It Looks Like When Children Cut Off Their Parents

More families are estranged than ever

George J. Ziogas
4 min readJun 7, 2024
Image by Jose Antonio Alba from Pixabay

For hundreds of years parents have attempted to control their children’s behavior and lives by threatening to “cut them out of the will” (or any inheritance) if they’re not happy with them.

But what does it look like when children cut off their parents?

Family estrangement — described as a situation “when at least one family member begins distancing themselves from another because of longstanding negativity in their relationship” — has been increasing in recent years.

And increasingly it looks less like parents distancing themselves from their children than it does like children telling their parents they’ve had enough— and they’re through.

Why family members are losing contact with one another

A 2020 study found that 27% of Americans above the age of 18 had “cut off contact with a family member.” Professor Karl Pillemer, the creator of that study, has also suggested that number might be on the low side, as many people don’t want to admit to family disagreements.

Pillemer and others have also suggested that, although this subject is not often studied, there’s a perception among therapists and…



George J. Ziogas

Vocational Education Teacher | HR Consultant | Personal Trainer | Manners will take you where money won't | ziogasjgeorge@gmail.com