DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a father of three. My children are all grown up now: Two of them are in college, and one is in medical school. Since they graduated from high school and moved out of the house, I have become distant from all of them. I don’t think there is a specific reason this happened, just the fact that they have their own lives now.
How can I reconnect with my kids? I try to speak with them as often as I can, and I always send them gifts on their birthdays or holidays, but I miss the relationships I used to have with all three of them. -- Lonely Father, Memphis, Tennessee
DEAR LONELY FATHER: Start by telling your children that you miss them. Suggest that you set up weekly calls via Skype or FaceTime where you can see and talk to them. The calls can be brief but meaningful if you establish them as a routine. Invite your children to come to dinner or to visit a few times a year.
Young people who are building their lives are often busy, and time can slip by without them realizing that they haven’t connected with their family. Gentle reminders from you may help. Don’t try to make them feel guilty, though. Just let them know you miss them and want to be in touch more often.