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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 10-05-2017, 10:57 PM
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Default protecting your relationship when alienation. ?

looking for some reference to good books, and personal thoughts and suggestions for protecting your relationship with your child when other parent is engaged in alienating or HAS parenting behaviors.

BY way of example, child doesn't call you dad, says you were never there and why you are buying them so many toys if you were never there for them (based on what been told by mom), we don't like you, etc, etc leading into them resorting to comments such as "I'm not going to see you" and "I'm going to tell my mommy how rude you are" when they don't listen and want to do what they want to do, i.e., wanting to go in backyard during lunch/dinner time, or wanting to watch tv or play on iPad when they should be going out to play and socialize, etc.

In short, when you child resorts to such comments, what's the best way to respond ? I have tried things such as, I know you're upset, but first we need to eat and could play after, but it just doesn't work. I used to be able to deal with it but it has become more difficult. She is generally fine after she has been with me for an overnight and is generally when she comes to see me for access after being at moms or sometimes when it is time to go back to moms.

I want to do the right thing and be firm but at the same time I don't want to be constantly spoke rude to against. What I am doing now is basically ignoring her and saying, once you speak to me respectfully, then I will respond, or do that for you.

Anyone experience this or something similar with their child ? Is it bad if you get upset and raise your voice at them to behave ? I feel bad because I know it's not their fault that they are being turned against me. Child is 9 years old.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:24 PM
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I have found having household rules posted in our home helped significantly during this time i.e, be Kind, Respectful and have a consequence should she choice not to be, such as a time out. Also a tight schedule of playtime, social time and iPad time. We have written this all out on Dollar Store poster boards and have seemed to help. Also helped to have the children involved in making the family rules and consequences and drawing up the posters. I am a newbie at all of this single parenting, cant be of much more help
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:26 AM
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Try to build trust, step by step. If she is 9 and saying things like that, imagine what will happen when she is 13. You may completely loose her. Try to reach to your daughter. Maybe attend mediation or ask professional advice -therapist.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:46 AM
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I found being open and honest with my 2 daughters has worked. My ex always tries to bash me but as my children have gotten a little older they aren't believing her crap anymore. Also I found certain movies that deal with these kinda of life challenges worked as well because we would always talk after the movie.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:47 AM
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Also be honest but firm that they are hurting your feeling as well.
That worked for me.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:09 AM
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You have two issues here. First a parent who is insistent on damaging the relationship and second a child that is being influenced.

You need to address both problems differently. For the parent, you need to repeat to them that their behaviour is inappropriate. For instance, they make a comment about you buying things, "what I purchase for our child is my business and it is not appropriate for you to comment to the child". Or simply ignore.

With the child, you must continue to reinforce positive behaviours. "Im sorry you feel that way but I love you very much and want us to spend time together", "I wont discuss what happened between your other parent and myself", "this discussion is not appropriate and I will speak to your other parent" etc.

There is a good set of videos on youtube from a counselor on the various responses to these types of things. Theres also a good book I read called "A Family's Heartbreak". It helped explain some of the background and understanding of where the alienating behaviours come from.

The most important thing is to not engage with their child when they parrot this stuff. They will be getting encouragement from the other parent and positive reinforcement for this. Ultimately though children do not want to be involved. Even though they are brainwashed, it is a heavy toll on them emotionally to go through this. Continue to remind them they are loved and an important part of your life.

May also want to look into parenting after divorce courses and therapy for yourself to help cope and manage this. My partner saw a therapist about his children and she really helped him implement healthy responses and behaviours. The difficulty was that it was too late in the relationship to start doing so.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kate331 View Post
I have found having household rules posted in our home helped significantly during this time i.e, be Kind, Respectful and have a consequence should she choice not to be, such as a time out. Also a tight schedule of playtime, social time and iPad time. We have written this all out on Dollar Store poster boards and have seemed to help. Also helped to have the children involved in making the family rules and consequences and drawing up the posters. I am a newbie at all of this single parenting, cant be of much more help
Absolutely have the child involved in setting the rules at your house (within reason of course). That was she has ownership of them and it's not just you being 'rude' when you have to enforce something. "No, you can't go play outside when it is suppertime. Remember we agreed that mealtimes were more important than play time and wrote it down here?"
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