why so many young people are cutting off their parents

Jordan was raised in a devout Southern Baptist household in North Carolina, where she was expected to faithfully attend church multiple times a week, embrace Jesus Christ as the only path to salvation, and respect her parents as outlined in the Ten Commandments. However, her decision to cut off communication with her father was both a rebellion against the teachings of her upbringing and a direct result of them. She grew weary of the notion that women should submit to men, a belief deeply rooted in her religious upbringing. Jordan had reached her limit and was no longer willing to comply.

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why so many young people are cutting off their parents

The concept of family estrangement contradicts the common childhood lesson that family bonds are eternal and irreplaceable. Particularly in cultures that prioritize the unity of the group over individual desires and needs, family is regarded as an inherent, non-negotiable truth rather than a choice. However, the reality is that family estrangement is becoming increasingly prevalent in America today.

If you've noticed a growing prevalence of discussions about family estrangement recently, whether it be in group chats, social gatherings, or on platforms like TikTok, you're not mistaken. The statistics are staggering. According to Karl Pillemer, a professor at Cornell University and author of "Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them," 27% of American adults over the age of 18 were estranged from a family member in 2020. This figure may actually be higher, as many individuals are still hesitant to openly discuss such a personal and stigmatized topic. While long-term research is limited, Pillemer believes that estrangement rates are on the rise in the United States and other Western countries, particularly among white individuals and those under the age of 35. The increasing number of millennials and Gen Zers coming forward to share their own stories, as evident by the 1.9 billion views on the #ToxicFamily hashtag on TikTok, suggests that American families are experiencing unprecedented levels of severed ties.

If we were to trust the accounts on TikTok, attitudes toward estrangement vary across generations: Baby Boomers often criticize millennials and Gen Zers for being too quick to sever ties, while the younger generations argue that they shouldn't have to endure unacceptable behavior simply because they share a blood connection with someone. Presently, certain young people appear to be less rigidly bound by the notion of familial obligation above all else, prioritizing their own well-being over maintaining relationships that bring them misery.

Pillemer notes that the societal norms that used to compel families to stick together regardless of circumstances have weakened over time. Challenging childhood experiences, disparities in values and lifestyles, and unmet expectations are among the factors that drive family estrangement. Younger generations today feel less bound by the overwhelming societal expectation that they must remain connected to their families no matter what. They believe that if a relationship becomes consistently harmful over an extended period, they have the right to extricate themselves from it.

The prevalence of family estrangement is also reflected in popular culture. On her talk show, Drew Barrymore openly discusses her emancipation from her parents at the age of 14, and she hosts celebrities like Jennette McCurdy, author of the best-selling book "I'm Glad My Mom Died," and Brooke Shields, who candidly shares her tumultuous relationship with her mother. While the phenomenon may seem ubiquitous, the circumstances surrounding each estrangement are intricate and unique to each family.

cutting off their parents

what the cause of many young people are cutting off their parents

For Jordan, who is now 32, the tension between her and her father escalated when she left the church in her early adulthood. Despite their frequent disputes about religion, politics, and her departure from the church, Jordan refrained from completely cutting off her father because her parents were married. However, after one final explosive conversation, she abruptly ended the call and experienced a moment of clarity. She

realized that she had reached her breaking point. In hindsight, she believes her father was fortunate that she had shown such restraint for as long as she did. Despite his repeated calls and text messages, Jordan remained steadfast. She emphasizes that having a healthy relationship with one's adult children is an exceptional privilege. Throughout the period of silence between them, she had hoped that her father would take it as a signal to reflect on his actions and offer an apology.

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