In cases that involve a parent-child emotional cutoff, many parents are unfortunately blocked by their own child.
And yet, it is important to understand the importance of showing up, regardless.
Unless there is a legal restraining or protective order, parents should always show up for their children, no matter what. Here's why.
If your co-parent has over time (whether over a long or short period of time) instilled a certain narrative or belief in your children about you, this may have taken over the child's mindset and perception about you as a parent. Whether they are small or big accusations (e.g., that you make them do dishes when they don't want to - or - that you neglect their every need, don't feed them or care for them, etc) this may result in a child unnecessarily and unnaturally rejecting a parent. All based off how the co-parent is portraying you to the child. And yet-- you once shared a loving relationship with this same child. A child who is vulnerable, caught in the middle of conflict, being dragged away from their other parent, and who is ultimately unconsciously confused.
This is why we show up for alienated children. Because they are still your children, and they still love you no matter what. We also don't want them staying stuck in their delusional mindset. We want to show up how we authentically are, pouring unconditional love onto them. Trust me, ask me how I know. I used to be just like your alienated child. My dad would show up to my track meets when I told him not to, and I would catch him off in the corner. Of course I ignored him, maybe shot him a nasty face or two, and yet I still was relieved he was there. Just had to play the part, and was also confused. Confused that I felt both mad at him and also happy he was there to watch me. Because part of the narrative was that he was a horrible father. So when he would show up, that would naturally debunk the narrative that he doesn't care about me. You get the gist.
So, if your child has blocked you- continue to show up in any way that you can. We do it so they know we are here for them no matter what. Here are some ideas:
- Create a website or social media account in their name
- Children google search their name. Let your website or social account be something they come across.
- Create blog posts in the form of letters to them
- 'Run' into them at places you know they will be
- If you know where they work or frequent, you can head to those areas, not in a sneaky way, nor do you have to approach them, yet if they get the chance to see you, gauge their reaction and go from there.
- Continue to text via an iPhone (sparingly)
- Blocked iPhone messages still pop up and get sent to a connected Apple computer
- Go to events or sports games
- You can be discrete, you don't have to be front and center
- Mail letters or gifts
- Even if you are not sure they receive them (whether from a co-parent taking them or what have you) send letters, being mindful of keeping it simple
...And as always, don't go through this process alone. Keeping your mindset, mental and physical health, and support in check will best guide you during these tough times. Consider joining the Chosen Parent Collective support group to interact with, support and be supported, by others in your position. Get the direct guidance of Dorcy Pruter through the group monthly calls, and ultimately learn how to be more empowered and take proactive action.