Teenagers write more than parents do

Loss of contact: when parents and children stop talking to each other

Observer: Is complete loss of contact between parents and children a common problem?
Claudia Haarmann: It is a phenomenon of our time. I am 65 years old. My generation has learned to honor mother and father. If something didn't suit us, we made our fist in the sack. The current young generation is braver. You can also see this in the fact that she talks more about her own feelings. We have still eaten a lot into ourselves. Saying stop and leaving the parents would have been out of the question for us.

Observer:Isn't it too easy for the children to simply slam the door in their parents' faces?
Hair man:No child does it just like that. This step is often preceded by a decision-making process lasting years. Children love their parents, yes. You have to understand this as a protective mechanism. The children try to gain distance in order to cope with the pain they have suffered. At the same time, they also send a signal to the parents: I'm not doing well with you! Often it is a desperate cry for help.

Observer:It is noticeable that in many affected families everything went well before. What pain do you mean
Hair man:To understand this, one has to look specifically at the nature of the relationship between parents and children. On the one hand, there are parents who paid little attention to their child because they did not properly perceive and satisfy their needs. They couldn't because they were sick or had financial problems or because they had major conflicts with their partner. Another reason that can play a role: Some parents need their child. They build a family identity to which the child and his or her needs have to subordinate. This child has hardly any freedom of choice and at some point can no longer breathe.

Observer:So it's the parents' fault?
Hair man:This is not about guilt. These parents only wanted the best for their child, they love it. It is often the case that these mothers and fathers experienced exactly the same thing with their parents. They come from parental homes in which neglect, cold relationships or silence have also taken place. Or the opposite of that: overprotection, too much closeness. These are patterns that are passed on from generation to generation.

Observer:Is it even possible to start over again after a break in contact?
Hair man:Both sides have to be aware that they have different perceptions. The child may have felt subjugated while the father thinks things are not that bad. You always supported the child. Here parents need to learn to listen and acknowledge the child's pain. You have to show him that you are serious about it. This is important as the first step.