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Evening and Weekend Hours by Appointment
West Dundee, IL847-428-7725
St. Charles, IL630-200-4882
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How to Repair Your Relationship with Your Child After Parental Alienation

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County Family Law Attorney

Divorces are often contentious and stressful for everyone involved, including any children you share with your ex-spouse. Throughout the divorce process, you have to determine child custody, visitation, spousal maintenance, and more. Unfortunately, sometimes the child’s other parent will attempt to subvert their love for you and turn them against you.

This practice is called parental alienation and is considered by many psychologists to be child abuse due to the manipulative nature of the act. If you do not realize what is happening and your child becomes alienated from you, there are steps you can take to try to repair the damage that was done to your relationship by your ex.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is more than just a parent trying to influence a child’s perception of the other parent. It is usually a targeted effort brought on by an underlying hatred or agenda the person has against another person. The repeated exposure of negative things about the other parent and constant put-downs and manipulation means children will often start to prefer the parent who does the manipulating. The alienating parent continuously focuses on negative traits and mistakes, as well as bad memories. Children may repeat the language the other parent uses and not criticize the manipulating parent at all. 

Repairing Parental Alienation

There are numerous ways to go about trying to repair the damage done to your relationship with your child. One exercise which has seen success is to ask your child about similarities they have with both parents on basic topics like foods, colors, and hobbies. Once you have them talking, show them how they are similar to both parents and how they are different. If you feel they have a good grasp on that concept, then moving on to feelings may help. Asking the child about what makes them happy or sad, with examples, gives them boundaries between what they think and what somebody else thinks. It helps them understand what their own thoughts are and that they do not have to maintain the same thoughts as those around them. 

If parental alienation is an ongoing pattern, it may also be beneficial to ask the court to limit custody time with the alienating parent and increase yours. With less opportunity to influence the child, interactions with the alienated parent will increase in positivity over time. 

Contact a West Dundee Family Law Attorney

Parental alienation can be very serious and permanently damage your relationship with your child. It is possible to repair the damage, but it is often difficult and takes time. Divorce changes the lives of everyone involved, and if you need assistance, The Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC is here for you. Our Kane County divorce lawyers have provided trusted and skilled service to clients for many years. Contact us at 847-428-7725 for an initial consultation.



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