Do it right.
How You Can Prevent Alienation
You may think you need to protect your child from the other parent who is alienating them from you. And you do but think about how you might be unwittingly alienating your child yourself. Here are some suggestions to help you not become an alienator. By no means are these suggestions easy, but remember, your #1 priority should always be your child. Do it for them.
Regularly point out the positive qualities of the other parent to your child. Dig deep if you have to!
If you slip up and say something negative about the other parent in front of your child, apologize. Say something like,” I’m sorry I said something negative about your dad (mom.) He has many good qualities.” A repairing comment will role model for your child the importance of taking responsibility for their behavior,” and they will trust you will be honest with them, even if you make a mistake.
Avoid Reinforcing Negative Comments
Don’t let your negative feelings for your ex reinforce negative comments your child may make about the other parent. Healthy children say all kinds of things, positive and negative, about their parents – even about abusive parents. If there is abuse, have it investigated by professionals. If not, be careful that you are not paying undue attention to their negative comments and ignoring their positive comments.
Avoid Excessive Comparisons
When you emphasize a skill or characteristic you have, don’t place it in comparison to the weaknesses of the other parent. You each have different skills and qualities that are important to your child. By putting the other parent in a negative light, you run the risk of alienating your child from you. Please join us again for, “Challenges of the Non-custodial Father.”