Previously on the blog we discussed parental alienation and the harm that it can cause to your child and your relationship with them. And alienation can take many forms, too, some of which aren’t easy to spot. Your child’s other parent may tell your child lies about you or they may make up problems and situations that restrict your ability to contact your child.
Either way, if you think that you’re being subjected to parental alienation, you’re probably extremely stressed about the circumstances. While there are certainly legal steps that you can take to try to bring parental alienation to a halt and protect your child, you might still be wondering what you can do to rebuild your relationship with your kid.
Things you can do to rebuild your relationship with your child
Your first step, of course, it to stop the alienating behavior. Until you can do that, there isn’t much that you can do to repair your relationship with your child. Once you’ve successfully stopped the problematic behavior, you should consider doing each of the following:
- Assisting your child in thinking through the issue on their own: A child who has been subjected to parental alienation has bought into the information provided to them by the alienating parent. If you want to rebuild your relationship with your child, you need to break that norm. You can do this by asking your child direct questions that challenge their perception of reality. For example, if the child has come to believe that you don’t love them, you may want to ask them about certain actions that you’ve taken that are indicative of your love for them.
- Act in a way that challenges their perceptions of you: Remember, your child has been manipulated to see you in a certain, probably negative, light. You’ll want to act in a way that contradicts those perceptions. For example, if your child feels like you’ll never be there for them, show up to all of their events. If, for some reason, they think that you pose a threat, provide the child with concrete boundaries that challenge what they believe.
- Don’t act in accordance with how you’ve been portrayed: If you’re child’s other parent has portrayed you as being aggressive, you’ll want to try hard to avoid presenting aggressive behavior and should instead try to present a calm demeanor. By identifying how your child views you, you can plan to act in ways that challenge what they falsely think is reality.
- Focus on trust: If you’re persistent, you can rebuild your relationship with your child. But once their view of you starts to change, you’ll want to focus on rebuilding trust. Avoid punishing your child for holding the false beliefs that they held and encourage them to be open and honest when discussing their beliefs.
You need a solid plan moving forward
Parental alienation is more common than many people realize. And the implications can be tremendous for your child and your family. That’s why you need to be prepared to take immediate action.
It can be hard to figure out how to move forward to address the matter, especially since you probably haven’t dealt with this issue before. But that’s why it might be best for you to turn to a legal ally for assistance. Hopefully, you can stop alienating behavior and successfully repair your relationship with your child.