Stop The Dominoes From Falling Now

Four effective ways to counteract parental alienation

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Family Law |

If left unchecked, parental alienation can be extremely harmful to your child. Yet, even picking up on the signs of alienation can be difficult to do. And even once you identify them you could struggle to figure out your next steps. While you’ll probably want to pursue a custody modification so that you can restrict the other parent’s access to your child, thereby preventing them from engaging in other alienating behavior, you also have to find a way to counteract the damage that’s already been caused. But how can you do that?

Previously on the blog we discussed ways to rebuild your relationship with your child after alienation has occurred. Before you get to that point, though, you need to offset the alienating behavior that’s occurred or is occurring. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Allow your child to take control during play: When your child is being subjected to parental alienation, they lose control over their own thoughts and feelings as the other parent manipulates them. By playing with your child in an unstructured way while giving them complete control over the play, you allow them to recapture their independence and their own thought processes. This is a technique used by many play therapists to discover how younger children really feel about the world around them and what’s happening to them.
  • Allow your child to come to you: Once you’ve identified parental alienation, you might be tempted to talk about it with your child to proactively set the record straight. Resist the urge to do so. If you pressure your child too much, or if you try to explain away their thoughts and feelings, you might unintentionally engage in your own kind of parental alienation. Be patient with your child by allowing them to come to you with their questions, concerns, and emotions. Just be prepared for it to take a significant amount of time for them to turn a corner and recognize that patience is key.
  • Be an attentive listener: In their other parent’s household, the child isn’t free to think and feel for themselves. You can counteract that by giving them a direct outlet to you in your home. This can reduce the pressure that they’re experiencing and allow them to truly explore how they’re feeling. That way they can seek out the true information they need to make their own decisions and develop their own thoughts. But for this to be successful you have to create an environment that’s open and receptive to them.
  • Avoid behaviors that align with perceptions of you created by the alienating parent: If you act in a way that mirrors your child’s false perceptions of you, then you just solidify their views and the image that the alienating parent has created of you. Don’t let that happen. Make a conscious effort to act in ways that are contrary to how you’ve been perceived through parental alienation.

Don’t let parental alienation cause irreparable harm to your child and your relationship with them

Parental alienation is no joke. It can be so severe that it causes significant harm to your child’s mental well-being, and it can devastate your relationship with them. That’s why it’s important to act quickly if you suspect that your child is being subjected to parental alienation. If you have lingering questions about the best way to tackle the issue, then please continue to read our blog.