Are you in the middle of a contentious divorce and is your child displaying inexplicably negative behavior towards you?
If so, your child may suffer from parental alienation, a mental condition in which a child rejects one parent and strongly allies with the other. In many cases, this occurs because one parent, the alienating parent, fills the child’s head with negative ideas about the other parent.
If you think your child is suffering from parental alienation, follow these tips from Cordell & Cordell fathers rights lawyers. They can help you battle the negativity and save your relationship with your child.
Maintain contact with your child
To get the upper hand, an alienating parent may try to limit the other parent’s access to the child. If you suspect this is happening to you, stop it right away. Assert your right to see your child immediately, and if necessary, seek the help of a father’s rights lawyer to make sure that your rights are protected.
Remember: The less you see your child, the more your relationship will deteriorate.
Don’t be an alienator
When you realize that your spouse is filling your child’s mind with hurtful thoughts about you, you may be tempted to return the favor, but it’s important that you resist this urge. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and saying negative things about your spouse may only serve to confirm the negative things your spouse is saying about you.
Also, consider how confused and troubled your child may already be. He or she needs a soothing role model to look up to, not another negative influence.
Don’t blame your child
Your child may bad-mouth you, spy on you or tell your spouse about every move you make and everyone you spend time with. But no matter how bad it gets, don’t blame your child and say something that you might regret.
Remember that your child has been brainwashed. He or she is a victim of parental alienation, not a perpetrator.
Never miss an appointment to see your children
When you have an appointment to meet or pick up your children, be there and be on time — even if you think your spouse may keep the kids and stand you up.
Being late or not showing up — even once — will provide ammunition that your spouse can use to further alienate your children.
Never stop being a great dad
Despite your difficulties, never forget that you have an obligation to be a loving parent. Play catch with your son. Take your daughter on a hike. Don’t neglect story time and always give goodnight kisses. And tell your children you love them. A lot.
These loving behaviors will help counteract the negativity and alienation of your alienating spouse.
Research parental alienation and get help
Lastly, don’t forget that therapists and father’s rights lawyers can guide you through this tough time. Do your research and find a professional in your area who has the experience to give you great advice, and read everything you can about parental alienation and divorce for dads.