At the end of your marriage or relationship, you and your child’s other parent likely both have ranging feelings, which may include anger. Although normal to go through such emotions, some go further and involve their children in a potentially manipulative and harmful way. Parental alienation happens when a parent deliberately damages the relationship between his or her child and the child’s other parent, creating emotional estrangement, physical estrangement or both.
Although it will likely come with challenges, you may take steps to aid your child in moving past and recovering from parental alienation.
Reopen the lines of communication
According to Psychology Today, engaging in communication activities with your child will sometimes help him or her recover from parental alienation. For instance, you may lead into a talk about feelings by talking about a neutral topic like food to start. Creating a safe space to discuss similarities and differences in feelings and opinions helps some children to understand they do not have to feel angry toward one parent simply because the other parent does.
Remain assertive, but positive
To avoid causing further conflict, you may try to stay neutral, staying quiet instead of speaking up for yourself. However, this strategy will not necessarily help your child, or you. Instead, you should voice your thoughts and feelings in a calm, constructive manner. Doing so may aid your child with processing the other parent’s behavior to more realistically view the situation.
If you have concerns about parental alienation in your family, you may consider options such as a modification to your existing custody arrangement to help put a stop to this behavior.