Last month, we shared part 1 of this series addressing proven methods to reverse the effects of parental alienation syndrome.
We will continue sharing these strategies in hopes of helping every family suffering through this difficult experience. The road ahead is challenging, but with these strategies, you have a road map to guide you along the way to reconcile with your child(ren).
Strategies 4, 5, and 6 discuss spending quality time with your child, remaining calm, and seeking counseling. Each of these strategies has its place and can help you achieve a closer and stronger relationship with your child.
Strategy #4: Spend Quality Time with Your Child
Children crave attention from their parents. When a child doesn’t get positive attention and affirmation, they’ll resort to negative behavior that gets your attention. This interaction encourages poor behavior and distances you and your child even more.
Combating parental alienation syndrome is a multi-faceted front, and spending quality time with your child is an excellent way to change your child’s perception of you.
Quality time is not buying your child everything they want or saying yes to every request. Quality time is peaceful moments where you and your child enjoy one another’s presence and the activity you’re doing.
The best part about quality time is that it can vary as often as you want it. You can do things your child loves and teach them about some of the hobbies you enjoy.
Ultimately, your child learns from you and sees you in a different light–one that contradicts what they’re hearing from the other parent.
Strategy #5: Remain Cool, Calm, and Collected
When a child suffers from parental alienation syndrome, you may hear them say things you strongly disagree with and feel the urge to argue. You must remain cool, calm, and collected in moments like these.
Any sudden outburst, even in defense of your reputation and ability to parent, could be construed as abusive, violent, and selfish, which would only validate what your child is repeating.
Remember, your child hears this kind of language from someone else. Although they may believe it’s their own opinion, the other parent feeds them these negative perceptions.
It would be best if you met these kinds of comments with a loving attitude and an understanding that what your child says is heavily influenced by other factors.
Strategy #6: Seek Counseling for You and Your Child
Counseling is one of the best strategies to address parental alienation. Seeking professional counseling from someone with experience working with alienated parents and children can guide your family through the healing process.
The proper time to seek counseling is really up to you and depends on the severity of the situation. If you notice the signs of parental alienation early on, you could reverse the effects without counseling. However, most people don’t notice the signs soon enough, and counseling is one of their last options.
Reversing the effects of parental alienation is time-consuming and takes weeks, months, and maybe even years to overcome. But no matter how time-consuming it may be, it’s always worth the effort when it means you get to spend high-quality time with your children. If you’re in a difficult situation and need help addressing potential parental alienation, contact Hickey and Hull for a free consultation.