One tactic commonly employed by hostile parents against their co-parents is parental alienation. Essentially, the individual utilizes lies, trash-talking, the undermining of major decisions and control of time-sharing among other strategies to place the other parent in a negative light and turn the children against him or her.
Examples include emotionally manipulating the children through crying, blaming the other person for the divorce and lying about him or her not wanting to see the offspring. Parental alienation may result in long-lasting psychological repercussions. The aftermath may be difficult to deal with, but by handling it with patience, it is possible to reconnect with alienated children.
Discuss the misconceptions
Part of parental alienation is distorting the children’s view of the other parent. Address the lies directly, calmly and rationally, without assigning blame or bad-mouthing their perpetrator. Take the high road and simply explain how these claims are false without raising your voice.
Maintain the adult position
Reacting with outrage and indignation may be a tempting prospect, but may further damage the relationship. Do not give in to frustration. Keep steady and reasonable, offering constant reaffirmations of love. Children do not possess the same maturity and level of rationality as adults and it is important to keep that in mind and act accordingly. Do not give them the silent treatment or accuse them of anything.
Do not give up
It may take a long time for the relationship to recover. Continue reaching out, even when rebuffed. Display understanding and a willingness to listen without judgment. Send cards, call, text, visit and offer to spend time with the children even if they refuse to come over.
Parental alienation does not signal the end of a relationship. Effort and patience may help heal the parental bond.