The perpetrating parent’s strategy will be to totally isolate you from the children by gradually breaking every line of contact you might have with them. Your strategy has to be the opposite, and to create every possible line of contact with your children and anyone connected with them.
There are no rules as everyone’s case is unique, but there are many common sense actions you can take.
- Avoid setting the record straight with children
- Never bad-mouth (take the high road)
- Consider quality one-on-one time
- Practice overlooking rude behavior
- Practice unconditional love
- If you can’t say something nice, then…
- Its hidden love
- They need you there
Never get in a battle with your children about what “really” happened. Accusing your children of lying only drives them further away.
Bad-mouthing the target parent becomes the family pastime, uniting them with a common enemy. Doing this to regain territory with your children further abuses them and could have opposite of the desired effect.
Divide and conquer. It is easier for a child to act hateful toward a parent when his siblings are doing the same. Try to spend individual time with each child.
Don’t lose your temper. Alienated children can be rude, obnoxious, hateful and abusive. They express and provoke great hostility. No one would blame the victimized parent of mistreatment for responding in kind. But it just makes things worse.
Don’t reject your children. This breaks contact with your children, which is so crucial to resisting and reversing alienation. It stings the children who, despite their overt belligerence, continue to need your love and acceptance. They are not getting unconditional love from their perpetrating parent, they need it from you. Rejecting your children sets you up to be seen by the children, and possibly by the court, as the bad guy who caused the alienation.
Don’t bad-mouth your ex. You will accomplish nothing by bad-mouthing except to give your children a genuine reason to feel uncomfortable around you.
Your children still love you, but for a time, they are not allowed to openly love you. Be patient and consistent in showing your love, even if you are rejected.
Fight the temptation to fade away. It is painful to attend recitals and games where you are rejected by your children, and possibly mistreated by misinformed adults, but you must keep going for the sake of your children. When your children discover the pain their parent has caused them, they will need you more than ever.