As Alaskan parents who have divorced, you still have a long road ahead. You need to care for your child’s mental well-being. You must ensure they get the help they deserve. You need to continue navigating the twists and turns of post-divorce life.
And this is more difficult if your co-parent tries to turn your child against you. Unfortunately, this is more common than you may think. It is parental alienation and it can do a lot of damage.
Tactics for parental alienation
The Center for Parenting Education talks about signs of a child suffering from parental alienation tactics. Parental alienation is the use of tactics by a co-parent to turn your child against you. A parent may use many methods. Some are coercive, some are manipulative and some involve outright lying. For example, a co-parent may tell your child that you do not wish to see them when that is not true.
Over time, if a child hears something repeated often enough, they will believe it. This happens even if they previously had a good relationship with you. Thus, one way of telling if your child is a victim is by monitoring their reaction to you. Have they suddenly become reluctant to visit when that was never an issue before? Do they seem to parrot back rude things about you? It may be a sign.
Dealing with parental alienation
If you believe your child is a victim of parental alienation, there are things you can do to rectify it. First, avoid reinforcing wrong beliefs with negative comments. Make repairing comments when possible. Teach your child problem-solving strategies. Have honest discussions with them if possible. Avoid excessive comparisons to your co-parent. And let your child have some room to breathe.