How to Handle an Alienated Child on Your Parenting Time

I often get asked what do I do when my child has been alienated from me? I still get them on my parenting time however they are horrible to me, constantly on the phone with their other parent, and they destroying my things and my home. When I ask my children to put their cell phones down or away, they scream at me and tell me it is illegal for me to take their phones or to tell them what to do with their phones, they have a right to talk with their other parent, whenever they want. My children never behaved this way prior to our divorce and progressively, over the past couple of months, they have turned into animals. Just yesterday my 13 year old daughter said to me, “Why don’t you just give up? You are never going to win in court, you never have and you never will. I hate you”

HELP! What do I do?

Well you have come to the right place, The first thing to do is, of course, take a deep breath, and know that she really does not hate you. When we look at this clients question we can see that there are a couple of problems she is trying to solve. 1. Her children’s rude behavior towards her and her property and 2. the constant contact from the favored parent. I will address both issues separately. When you are dealing with an alienated child, all normal parenting goes right out the window. trying to convince them they are wrong, that they have been coached and even trying to defend yourself does not work.

So lets address her first issue and then her second.

1. When your alienated child is out of control and they make bold statements like what is happening in court, simply say to them, “I can see that you are upset, I want you to know that no matter what happens or how you behave I will always love you. I do want you to understand that I may not be perfect all the time, I will always do what I feel is in your best interest. When you behave the way you are behaving, it reflects poorly on your (dad or mom) and could actually get them in trouble with the judge, in court. I know you do want you other parent to get into trouble. I can’t control your behavior only you can, you can decide to behave appropriately or not. Whatever you chose I will always love you.”

Now here is the tricky part. BE QUIET. No more responding, explaining and pleading. Simply speak your peace and move on. Alienated children will do whatever it takes to protect the favored parent. This is counter intuitive but it works.

If it does not work the first time repeat and then do  the alternative, which, works like magic is to simply, not respond. This is also counter intuitive. We are always trying to teach our children right from wrong and the appropriate way to treat other people. In normal situation that works, however with alienated children you are in a whole different ballgame.

2. What do you do when the child is in constant communication with the other parent and wont give up their phone? I see rejected parents constantly afraid of what would happen if they actually parented, this happens mainly because most parents swing from permissive parenting style to authoritarian parenting styles out of fear and frustration. Stop the madness, by sitting the children down and having “your attorney” speak to your children and explain to them, via the speaker phone, they they are to give you their cell phones and that you will be keeping them for the duration of their time with you and they will get them back at the time they will be returning to the other parents home. Have you attorney explain to them that, the court has ordered the parenting time and that time is to be spent with the parent uninterrupted, so that they have the opportunity to spend time with each parent. Have your attorney explain that they are not in trouble and they can call their other parent, from your cell phone or the house phone, if they need to speak to the other parent and have your attorney say to the children, “now please hand your phones over to your mom/dad now, it is important to comply with the court orders so that your other parent does not get into trouble with the judge. POWERFUL!  and it works.

Now some of you may be thinking, “I was told not to talk to the kids about what happens in court, or about the fact that we are in court, well under normal circumstances, I would agree, however these children already know about court, and they have mostly likely heard a very skewed version of what the other parent wants them to believe. As you read these children told their mother to give up and she was going to loose in court like she always does.

Armed with these tools, you can restore calm in your home and give your children the opportunity to relax and have fun with you, without the constant barrage of text messages and phone calls from the favored parent, which keeps the child, unstable. The cell phone is the favored parents new weapon, it is time to be bold, firm, and loving. Using these methods gives your children the opportunity to be children and they can’t be children if they are constantly under fire (attack) from the favored parent who will not give them a break.

Remember, you are also their parent. Traditional parenting styles do not work, while the child is under the influence of alienation, and so you must arm yourself with new conscious ways of being a parent, so that you can empower your children to be the best people they can be in the world.

Try it and see what happens. Post a comment or ask your own question, let me know how it worked out for you.

Create an AMAZING day!

Dorcy

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