How to deal with your parents’ divorce

How to deal with your parents' divorce

Dear Christine,
My parents are getting a divorce after 30 years of marriage. I knew their marriage wasn’t perfect, but I never thought it would end. Although I am grown up at 25, I am really sad and angry over this. I feel like they are giving up and our whole family is now in shambles; I want to step in and try to help them reconcile because I think this is a mistake. Plus it makes me never want to get married if my own parents can’t even make it work. How do I handle this?
– Split over my parents split, 25, Houston

Dear Split over my parents split,

No matter how old you are the divorce of your parents is difficult, so allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling. You may chronologically be an adult but this may trigger very childlike feelings and memories. Be gentle with yourself as you go through all the natural feelings of sadness, confusion, and anger. I also encourage you to seek out some kind of therapist or coach during this time to keep you focused on your own healing and support you in resisting the temptation to get involved in their life. Get your own counselor, don’t be theirs and don’t expect them to be yours either.

I suggest that you do not talk about the divorce too much with either parent or entertain any type of “he said/she said.” It’s common for parents to want to vent to their children; so if one, or both, of your parents begins to talk to you too much about the other, or you feel like you are pressured to pick sides, I encourage you to put a stop to it. Say something like, “Mom or Dad, I love you but it’s really hard for me when you talk negatively about my other parent. Can we just talk about how you are doing instead?”

Your desire to help them stay together is also very normal and probably two-fold. First, you hate to see their marriage end because it represents the foundation on which your life was built. Second, by focusing on what you can do to get them to stay together, you can ease and/or avoid your unsettling feelings about them splitting apart. But here’s the truth: you really do not know the intricacies of your parents’ marriage and this separation may be the best possible thing for both of them.
They’ve been together your entire life so it’s incredibly difficult to see them apart. But keep in mind that they are individuals aside from being a parental entity with hopes, dreams, and frustrations just like anyone else. And because you love them, it’s important to put aside your judgment. See them as searching for a way to be happy and complete even if it’s not in the way you envisioned.

Being an adult child of a divorce can make you feel like a child again as can trigger all sorts of feelings and memories. It’s important to keep in mind that their divorce has absolutely nothing to do with you – you did nothing to cause it and can do nothing to prevent it. Allow yourself the time and space to grieve. Journal, talk about it with your friends, dive into your spiritual/religious practices if you have them and spend time parenting yourself.

Our mind likes to take over during challenging times but over-thinking, analyzing and forming conclusions is a way to avoid feeling uncomfortable feelings. Avoid making any decisions about marriage in general. Any beliefs that you start to lay down during this time will be formative to your own future relationships so tread lightly. You are not your parents and your relationship and possible future marriage will be different, especially if you really take this time to heal. This marriage served them both and, hey, it brought you into the world! Just because a relationship ends, does not mean it is a failure.

Any way you slice it, this situation is not easy – you just have to get through it. Remember the good memories you had growing up as a nuclear family and be grateful that you had that experience for as long as you did. Things are just going to be a little different moving forward than you planned on. Let go of your expectation that they were supposed to be together forever. Who knows, apart your parents could blossom into happier individuals and your relationship with each of them may be even better.

How to deal with your parents' divorce

Watching your parents divorce is painful no matter your age, but much of the research and advice on how to cope is dedicated to children. What happens to people who are teenagers or adults when their parents divorce? Their survival guide to a parental split looks a bit different than what’s recommended for children, according to experts.

Here are 11 tips on how to get through this major life change as a teen or adult from therapists and experts on divorce below.

1. Find someone to confide in.

“Regardless of your age, you may be flooded with feelings that threaten to overwhelm you at times, ranging from sadness to fury. Find someone who can lighten your emotional load by listening and acknowledging what you’re going through.” ― Susan Stiffelman, a psychotherapist based in Malibu, California

How to deal with your parents' divorce

2. Don’t become your parents’ confidant.

“Should one or both of your divorcing parents try to discuss the divorce with you with the intention of sharing their side of the story, or playing on your sympathy to align you with them, calmly tell them you don’t want to get involved. This is their drama, not yours. Suggest they see a therapist or divorce coach to help them make the best decisions.” ― Rosalind Sedacca, certified divorce coach and author of “How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce?”

3. Don’t be afraid to set limits and ask for what you need.

“Most teens and adults whose parents divorce feel some combination of anger, guilt and betrayal. Even if you’re technically a grown-up, you need information, empathy and reassurance from your parents. You also need freedom to express your whole range of feelings ― including anger ― without being made to feel guilty, asked to choose sides or being enlisted as a go-between.” ― Kate Scharff, psychotherapist and divorce mediator

4. Live your life in a way that nurtures you.

“Have fun, go out with your friends and take care of yourself. We can only serve others when we care for ourselves.” ― Barbara Desmarais, parenting coach based in Vancouver, British Columbia

How to deal with your parents' divorce

5. Ask your parents to think about their future.

“When mom and dad were married, they were a support system for each other. Now when they get sick or need help, instead of depending on each other, they’ll turn to their kids. While you want to be there for your parents, your life will undoubtedly change. You will have responsibilities to your own family. Before it becomes an issue, it may help to have an open and honest conversation with your parents about planning for the future. What will retirement look like? What will happen if they get sick? Talking about these things up front often gives everyone time to make important decisions and make a plans that won’t leave you as your parents’ only resource for support.” ― Christina McGhee, divorce coach and author of “Parenting Apart”

6. Show support. It may make you feel better as well.

“Divorce is a disruptive and upsetting process. Parents can be reassured by your support and concern. Just make sure to keep your boundaries clear.” ― Peggy Kruger Tietz, psychologist and social worker in Austin, Texas

7. Don’t press your parents for more information.

“It’s the natural tendency for you to want to understand more of what happened that caused the problems and your family. Unfortunately, the information you receive will be through filter of that specific parent. It will only cause you confusion and hurt. Relationships are complicated and they don’t end over a specific moment. There’s no value in gathering more information as you’ll never be able to truly understand what happened. No matter what they might tell you, even your parents do not know exactly what happened that got them to this point.” ― M. Gary Neuman, psychotherapist and author of “Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce”

8. Stay healthy.

“Resist the temptation to numb yourself with food, drink or losing yourself online. The more willing you are to feel sadness and loss, the more quickly you will find your footing.” ― Susan Stiffelman

How to deal with your parents' divorce

9. Don’t get involved in the court proceedings.

“Even if you do align with one parent over the other, don’t agree to step into the court litigation. This is a very stressful experience that you should avoid if possible. You can make a written statement or talk to parental lawyers outside of court to share your feelings, but tell them you don’t want to testify in court.” ― Rosalind Sedacca

How to deal with your parents' divorce

10. Consider counseling.

“Depending on the circumstances, seeking out the guidance of a mental health professional might help you sort things out in your mind. If you discover after 25 years that your father is not the person you thought he was, it can rock your world. If, on the other hand, you know your parents’ parting is best for everyone, you may not need therapy, but you will want to allow yourself time to adjust to the new configuration of your family. Regardless of the situation, you want to allow yourself time to grieve, time to express your sadness or anger and time to adjust to your new reality.” ― Barbara Desmarais

11. Know that accepting the divorce will take some time.

“It takes time to adjust to change this enormous, but you will. Get support, lean on caring friends, stay connected with both parents, treat yourself well and you will find your way through the storm.” ― Susan Stiffelman

Although divorce among the baby boomer and older generations is becomi ng mor e common every year, a break-up of older parents tends to catch grown up children completely off-guard, even if it’s obvious that the marriage has been on the rocks for many years.

Watching parents that you love struggle through the throes of divorce is tough, but it’s possible for families to survive (and even thrive) during this difficult time. Here’s how:

Don’t try to parent your parents.

Even if you love your parents and you have the best intentions , you may make matters worse. Don’t attempt to fulfill the role of counselor, accountant or attorney. Be sympathetic and supportive as you can , but let your parents navigate the divorce on their own.

S upport both parents equally.

S trive to be unbiased and never choose one parent ’s side over another . Avoid getting caught in the middle of two warring parents.

It’s okay to express your emotions.

Harboring your feelings can cause stress and resentment in the long run . Discuss the matter calmly and respectfully and keep in mind t hat your parents are the only people who know the entire story behind the end of the marriage .

Seek outside help.

Talk to a counselor or a close friend i f you continue to feel angry , even if you’re s ure your feelings are justified .

Set healthy boundaries.

Call a halt if your parents are relying on you too much, or if they are telling you things you don’t want (or need) t o know. Similarly, put your foot down and don’t allow one parent to trash talk the other in your presence .

Remain objective.

It’s normal to experience feelings of betrayal, but remember that a divorce involves your parents . As difficult as it is, it really i sn’t about you.

Accept the change.

Maintain your family traditions as much as possible, but be flexible and willing to adjust to the new circumstances. Accept the sad fact that t hings aren’t going to be the same.

Allow y ourself to grieve.

Acknowledge that this is a painful loss and r emember that things will get easier in time .

Navigating the world after a divorce is a completely challenging and emotionally wrenching experience in and of itself. Though the past is put behind them, going forward may take a long time for your parents as well.

In the movies, it’s depicted that one spouse leaves so that he or she can go live the thrilling fantasy they’ve been dreaming of while the other spouse simply lives in secluded loneliness and pines away. In reality, those who are getting divorced are commonly getting “no-fault” divorces. Couples who are getting divorced in their 50s and 60s realize that they still have a lot of life to live and want to go after it in a different way. Giving your parents space and support may be a delicate balancing act. Ensure that you, too, get enough rest and mental support.

Give your loved ones the time that they need to move on to their new lives. Allow them to talk to you and reach out to them when you sense they are feeling down.

SeniorAdvisor.com Staff

Senior Advisor’s knowledgeable writers blog about senior care services, trends and more.

Philanthropists, public health advocates, and businesspeople Bill and Melinda Gates announced Monday that they are splitting up after 27 years of marriage.

Their three children are adults — Phoebe, 18, Rory, 21, and Jeniffer, 25 — but that doesn’t mean their parents’ divorce won’t be challenging, experts say.

People may assume that divorced parents’ adult kids are better able to handle a split than young kids, but Rachel Sussman, a relationships therapist in New York City, said a parents’ divorce after a long-term marriage, no matter what age, is upsetting and challenging.

“I think there’s an element of shock and surprise for kids of any age,” Sussman told Insider.

Although a parents’ divorce may be painful, Sussman said there are steps you can take to navigate your way through the experience.

Even if you’re a mature adult, a parental divorce is shocking

Sussman said it’s OK for us all to admit to ourselves that, even as mature adults, the world is a scary, hard place, and sometimes you may rely on your family unit — and your parents’ marriage — for a sense of security.

In adulthood, we get jobs, pay bills, and create our own schedules, but when you’re with your parents, you can revert back to being a child; being looked-after.

“There’s a dynamic with even adults that when they’re with their parents, they can feel a little childlike and they want to be cared for by their parents,” Sussman said.

But a parental divorce can leave you feeling unstable.

“It feels like that last security blanket is being ripped out from under them,” Sussman said.

Ways to cope when your parents get a divorce

It is shocking, but there are ways to recover and adapt, according to Sussman.

Sussman said clients she sees in her practice go through different stages of emotions: shock, sadness, anger, and acceptance. She advises people to articulate these feelings to their parents in the moment, to avoid lasting emotional damage.

Sussman also recommended going to a therapist who will provide an outlet to discuss your feelings, and creating a support system of friends.

A parental divorce can also lead to resiliency. If your parents had an amicable divorce and left the marriage in a happier, better place, Sussman said it may help you to navigate your own relationships and potential breakups in the future.

If you’re parents had a nasty divorce, Sussman said, that doesn’t mean it has to be a weight you will carry for the rest of your life.

“Maybe aspects of your life are changing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a great life and a great relationship with both parents.”

How To Cope When Your Parents Divorce In Your 20s

How to deal with your parents' divorce

If your parents decide to go their separate ways when you’re an adult it can send your life into a complete tailspin. People, including your dear old mum and dad, expect you to take the news in your stride and shake it off like it’s no big deal. After all, you’re a grown-up now, you’ve got your own life.

What they don’t tell you though is that if are unfortunate enough to be an ACOD (adult child of divorce), it can leave a legacy of hurt and chaos in its wake that has far-reaching consequences. You’re not shielded from the heartache as you would have been as a child, in fact you’re in the eye of the emotional storm. And let’s not forget the ‘role reversal’ that takes place almost as soon as the cat is out the bag – you become the sensible adult while your mild-mannered parents turn into squabbling kids.

Divorce isn’t easy on a family at any stage, I know that of course, but when it happened to me in my early twenties I wasn’t quite prepared for what was about to unfold. I’d had a ridiculously happy childhood and a seemingly perfect family unit – just me, mum, dad and my older sister. There was rarely a cross word or argument, just fun times as a nice little family. However, on a sunny September morning almost a decade ago my dad woke me up to inform me that mum had left him. After twenty five years she’d left a note on the kitchen table telling him it was over and that she’d met someone else. His best friend, of all people. It was a bombshell that we as a family still feel the effects of even now.

At the time my whole world came crashing down around me. My sister and I were left to pick up the pieces of my mum’s actions, just as I was sitting my university finals (nice timing). My dad, my hero, was reduced to a shadow of his formal self, while my mum acted as if this sort of thing happened all the time. As my dad was crying on one shoulder, my mum was in denial of the destruction she had caused. My sister and I became mediators when the divorce turned ugly and we became counsellors when the realisation of what had happened really hit my dad. It was, without doubt, the worst few years of my life. Had it happened when I was a kid, I would have been shielded from the emotions, the anger, the rejection, but at 21 I was on the front line. I was seeing it all with my own eyes and was fully aware of what it all meant. I just couldn’t believe my lovely, perfect family was now just another sorry divorce statistic.

The aftershocks of my parents split can still be felt today. They sat apart at my graduation, ditto my wedding, and the birth of my daughter was an exercise in military organisation and precise timing, ensuring that neither party saw one another but felt that they were both deeply involved in the first few days of her life.

Although it has been the worst of times, I have also learned a lot from the experience and I have no doubt that I wouldn’t be the person I am today had it not been for the events of ten years ago. I am calm under pressure, I am an expert mediator and I’ve learned just how important it is to nurture and look after my own marriage, not just for the sake of my husband but for my baby daughter. I don’t want her to have to experience what I did. Weirdly, I also have excellent relationships with both of my parents, particularly my dad. We experienced a trauma together, we got through it and we value each other so much more. We see each other in a different light – as best friends who can tell each other anything.

Their divorce is now the new normal and things have greatly improved – my dad is happily remarried, my mum is still married to the man she left my father for, and we, the children, are settled and successful. It’s all worked out ok, but I still find myself thinking how different things could have been.

Going through something similar? Here’s some tips to help get you through:

Don’t Take Sides

Listen to both parties but don’t be drawn into the argument. You are still the child, after all.

Take Time Out

It can be a real strain being the adult in this situation – seek solace in your friends and loved ones. A strong support network is paramount.

Parental Control

Don’t let your parents resort to emotional blackmail. They’re still your parents, no matter how they feel about each other.

Outside Assistance

Individual or family counselling is a great resource. It can really help to speak to someone who isn’t part of your inner circle. It might also be a good thing to suggest to your parents.

It Will Get Better

However terrible things are in the beginning, it will get better with time.

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How to deal with your parents' divorceOne of the most painful byproducts of a high conflict divorce is watching your ex manipulate your children into believing that you’re a bad parent. Parent-child relationships that were strong before the divorce can be damaged almost overnight when an alienating parent lures a child into the Cult of the Bad Mom/Dad. Brainwashing tactics include bad-mouthing, lies, manipulation of events, and a constant barrage of negatives about the other parent…similar to a political smear campaign.

Treating parental alienation in a family or joint parent therapy setting is challenging because it is unlikely that the alienator will agree to go to therapy or that you will be able to agree on a therapist. Judges can mandate family therapy or parenting classes, but unfortunately, they can’t make an alienator listen to what the therapist has to say.

Some good news? You don’t necessarily need a judge or mental health professional in order to take action and give your child a more balanced picture of you and your relationship. Here are three strategies you can put into action right now to help stop parental alienation and protect your relationship with your kids.

Strategies To Combat Parental Alienation

Maintain contact with your children. Alienators often try to thwart visitation and phone communication. It’s easy to feel hopeless when you’re consistently denied access to your children or, worse, when they refuse to see you because they’ve been told you’re dangerous or that you don’t care about them. If your ex interferes with visitation, or your kids are afraid to go, file a complaint with the court that she’s in violation of the child visitation plan. In the meantime, try to keep in contact with your kids: keep calling, texting, e-mailing, and attend school events. They may not respond, but they will know that you care. And continue to show up for visitation — even if they refuse to see you. Many adult children of parental alienation say they interpreted their parents’ absence as proof that that parent didn’t love them. When that happens, the alienating parent has won.

Address the other parent’s lies. According to conventional divorce wisdom, you should turn the other cheek when you’re being badmouthed. The logic behind this advice is that kids are emotionally burdened when parents share their personal problems. That’s true, but the fact is, they are already being hurt by the alienator’s lies. NOT addressing your ex’s hi-jinks is like pretending there’s no elephant in the room and can even make your children doubt reality. Present your side of the story calmly and factually: you do love them and that’s why you show up for every soccer game and piano recital; you do have fun together and here are photos of your camping trip to prove it; you do send text messages to contact them and here’s a record on your phone. The more you challenge the alienator’s false statements, the greater the chance your children will also.

Teach Your Children How To Be Independent Thinkers. Parental alienation is emotional abuse of children. Alienators give children the tacit message that it is not okay to have their own thoughts and feelings. Their tactics are similar to cult leaders who destroy their followers’ ability to think for themselves and make their own choices. So how do you combat your ex’s mind games? Teach your kids about critical thinking. If they’re still in the bedtime story phase, ask them why they think Cinderella’s stepsisters are so mean to her. If they tell you history class is boring, ask them why learning about civil rights is important. If your child says he doesn’t know, or asks you to explain things, say you will but you want to hear what he thinks first. Talk about the difference between opinion and fact. For instance: one person can love tomatoes and the other person can hate them. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with tomatoes, it’s just a person’s preference of point of view. As your child develops the ability to think for himself, he will be better able to put the alienator’s skewed narrative in perspective.

Are you experiencing parental alienation in your relationships with your children? Our attorneys can help guide you and your kids to a better place. Please contact us today to schedule your free confidential attorney consultation.

All it takes is a phone call from parents or a family meeting for the world as you know it to change. Dealing with parents’ divorce, however old you are, is never easy. For many, it is the turning point of life.

How to deal with your parents' divorce

Being in college, away from home, the support of the family might seem more important than ever. Throughout lives, one might have seen other parents’ divorcing and friends going through the same. Nevertheless, when it happens to you, it might make one feel utterly lonely and unsure of what is happening around.

Along with that, the added pressure of getting through Universities would all make it seem like a never-ending nightmare. But with some support, every student can get through this phase. Let us take a few things into consideration that could help to deal with it.

Dealing with the Questions

The almost immediate reaction to hearing the news of parents’ divorce is “why?” Every parent has their own reasons for getting separated. In some cases, the children might have even been expecting the news.

Many parents who have already been struggling with their relationships might decide to get a divorce when their kids move out to college. It is common for the children to feel responsible for this separation. It might make one feel that if they were still at home, the divorce might not have happened. It is important to remember that the split between parents happens because of the issues between them and not because of anything you did or did not do. This decision was their own, not because of your behavior or actions.

Parents’ divorce can affect someone both emotionally and physically. One might feel abandoned, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry and every other emotional overload could happen all at once. These feelings are unavoidable and talking about them with someone you trust could help.

How to avoid Academics getting Affected

How to deal with your parents' divorce

The emotional upheaval is not always a strong backing for college. Some might put their frustration into academics and turn it into a drive for achievement. However, that is not the common case. The more students are upset about something emotionally, the more it will reflect on their academics.

At times, it is thus essential to take a break from the clutter around. This does not have to mean that students have to fall back in line when it comes to studies. There are many websites that help students to deal with college work. They might need help because of any emotional trauma or just from the stress of being in school itself.

One such established website is EssayPro.com. With 20 years of expertise in the industry, the service has been offering excellent assistance to students in need. If in need for some back up in handling in assignments or papers, you can approach the team of EssayPro.com who will deliver the work precisely as per the instructions.

Emotional stress is inevitable when family issues keep occurring. But it also imminent not to lose sight of the bigger picture and not to let go of the future along with it. One has to keep hold of all other aspects of life and try not to let the divorce of parents get in the middle of everything you have worked hard for.

What to do to make it Easier

When a tragedy like a divorce happens, there are also challenges that come with grief and frustration. You might get caught in the turmoil of having to take sides, lose emotional support, have financial problems, and dealing with the future. Though it works differently for each individual, there are ways to approach to ease the impact.

1. Keep the Peace

The first that that would occur is the need to choose sides. But try your best not to get caught in between the disputes. Make it clear that you would like to stay away from the drama of divorce and talk to parents as their kid alone. Avoiding parents will only lead to more confusion within. Keeping in touch even with a quick SMS or email will give the emotional relief without having to get into the details.

2. Become Financially Independent

Amidst everything that has been happening in your parent’s life, they might even forget about helping you with many things. Becoming financially independent is a wise thing to do either way. This will also help to stay away if needed and distance yourself from the struggles of divorce.

3. Find Support in College

Most campuses have someone to help students get through family trauma. It could be a counselor or a support group of students itself. Talking to them would help in many ways to get adjusted to the circumstances. It would be much helpful to talk to others who are going through the same thing.

4. Keep Busy

While such a life-changing event could make you want to curl up under the bedsheets, it is crucial to stay active in the chaos. Getting engaged in activities between classes will lessen the time to brood, overthink and planning how scenarios and family meetings would pan out in your head. Try to redirect the negative energy into something positive and productive.

5. Develop Extended Family

College is the time when one develops life long friendships. An incident such as divorce could lead to strengthening these relationships. Your partner, friends and even their families could be a part of the extended family. It will help to overcome the sense of abandonment.

6. Consider the future

There will be a point when it is no longer possible to put off a discussion about how the divorce will affect you. Pick a time to talk to parents and let them know any concerns. It is better to communicate them than keeping things to you that could only harm the relationship. Furthermore, this could throw light into many things and help to look forward to the future.

Above all, you have to live your life. Don’t let divorce stop from being who you are or alter any way on how you want your life to be. Give it time, accept the support when needed and get past the things to make way for new memories.

How to deal with your parents' divorceOne of the most painful byproducts of a high conflict divorce is watching your ex manipulate your children into believing that you’re a bad parent. Parent-child relationships that were strong before the divorce can be damaged almost overnight when an alienating parent lures a child into the Cult of the Bad Mom/Dad. Brainwashing tactics include bad-mouthing, lies, manipulation of events, and a constant barrage of negatives about the other parent…similar to a political smear campaign.

Treating parental alienation in a family or joint parent therapy setting is challenging because it is unlikely that the alienator will agree to go to therapy or that you will be able to agree on a therapist. Judges can mandate family therapy or parenting classes, but unfortunately, they can’t make an alienator listen to what the therapist has to say.

Some good news? You don’t necessarily need a judge or mental health professional in order to take action and give your child a more balanced picture of you and your relationship. Here are three strategies you can put into action right now to help stop parental alienation and protect your relationship with your kids.

Strategies To Combat Parental Alienation

Maintain contact with your children. Alienators often try to thwart visitation and phone communication. It’s easy to feel hopeless when you’re consistently denied access to your children or, worse, when they refuse to see you because they’ve been told you’re dangerous or that you don’t care about them. If your ex interferes with visitation, or your kids are afraid to go, file a complaint with the court that she’s in violation of the child visitation plan. In the meantime, try to keep in contact with your kids: keep calling, texting, e-mailing, and attend school events. They may not respond, but they will know that you care. And continue to show up for visitation — even if they refuse to see you. Many adult children of parental alienation say they interpreted their parents’ absence as proof that that parent didn’t love them. When that happens, the alienating parent has won.

Address the other parent’s lies. According to conventional divorce wisdom, you should turn the other cheek when you’re being badmouthed. The logic behind this advice is that kids are emotionally burdened when parents share their personal problems. That’s true, but the fact is, they are already being hurt by the alienator’s lies. NOT addressing your ex’s hi-jinks is like pretending there’s no elephant in the room and can even make your children doubt reality. Present your side of the story calmly and factually: you do love them and that’s why you show up for every soccer game and piano recital; you do have fun together and here are photos of your camping trip to prove it; you do send text messages to contact them and here’s a record on your phone. The more you challenge the alienator’s false statements, the greater the chance your children will also.

Teach Your Children How To Be Independent Thinkers. Parental alienation is emotional abuse of children. Alienators give children the tacit message that it is not okay to have their own thoughts and feelings. Their tactics are similar to cult leaders who destroy their followers’ ability to think for themselves and make their own choices. So how do you combat your ex’s mind games? Teach your kids about critical thinking. If they’re still in the bedtime story phase, ask them why they think Cinderella’s stepsisters are so mean to her. If they tell you history class is boring, ask them why learning about civil rights is important. If your child says he doesn’t know, or asks you to explain things, say you will but you want to hear what he thinks first. Talk about the difference between opinion and fact. For instance: one person can love tomatoes and the other person can hate them. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with tomatoes, it’s just a person’s preference of point of view. As your child develops the ability to think for himself, he will be better able to put the alienator’s skewed narrative in perspective.

Are you experiencing parental alienation in your relationships with your children? Our attorneys can help guide you and your kids to a better place. Please contact us today to schedule your free confidential attorney consultation.