How to Handle Parental Alienation and Reconnect with Your Teen

Parental AlienationParental alienation is when one parent purposely tries to distance their child from the other parent. After a divorce, children may either split their time between both parents or choose to live with one parent if, for example, they are teenagers. If one parent has turned the teen against the other parent, the teen may not even want to have anything to do with the other parent. Teenagers are already dealing with their own issues of adolescence so having to see their parents go through a divorce can also take an emotional toll on them. Having to deal with parental alienation can be a very disheartening situation, however; it is important to realize that there are ways to reconnect with your teenager.


What Are the Signs of Parental Alienation


Some signs of parental alienation include that a child becomes cold or distant towards one parent without a reason or an explanation.  They could also appear to be hostile or angry at one parent.  If they are accusing you of behavior that is not valid; it is important to note that the parent that is doing the alienation may be influencing them to act that way.  That parent may also be threatening them that if they don’t abide by their rules or commands, the teen may have to fend for themselves financially.


Continue to Keep the Lines of Communication Open


Even if your kid avoids you at first and is distant continue to reach out.  It is ok to send them a text message or call them to let them know that you are there for them regardless of what their current situation. Don’t force any conversations but casually reach out from time to time to let them know that you are here for them when they are ready to reach out. By reassuring them that you care, they will eventually come around when they are ready.  By creating a safe space for them that offers loving support, they will feel more comfortable approaching you.


Even if Your Ex-Spouse is Disparaging You, Take the Higher Road


Even if your ex-spouse is disparaging you with your children or other people, remember to take the higher road.  Two wrongs do not make a right! It may be difficult to not say anything and remain quiet but if your ex is also a narcissistic personality, they may use whatever you say against you.


As difficult as it may be, avoid speaking negatively about the other parent in front of your child. This can be challenging, especially if you're being portrayed in a negative light.


When You See Your Teenager Do Your Best to Make It a Positive Experience


When you get to see your teenager, plan some fun activities that they would enjoy or try a new experience together to create new, fun, and positive memories. By spending quality time together, you will slowly be able to rebuild their trust and demonstrate how much you care without the influence of your ex-spouse.



Consider Therapy Who Can Help With Your Family Dynamics and Alienation


An experienced therapist may be able to assist with ways to get your relationship back on track with your teenager and move forward constructively.  Parental alienation can be difficult for the parent who is being alienated as well as the child involved.



Your Teenager May Not Realize They Are Being Manipulated


Your child may not even understand what is happening but once they have more education on what parental alienation is and how to identify signs of it; they may be more aware.  This awareness may be beneficial in them not falling for the tactics so quickly and they may have more resistance and question why they are being told to stay away from the other parent.


Don’t Give Up


It is ok to take a break from trying to mend the relationship with your child and give them some breathing room, however, don’t give up trying.  It may not happen overnight, but it is possible to get your teenager back to a place where he/she will spend time with you again and be willing to rectify the relationship.


You May Be Able to Take Legal Action


A New York divorce and family law lawyer may be able to help you with your parental alienation situation. A NYC family law lawyer may be able to assist with modifications to custody arrangements, and court-ordered therapy, or be able to suggest other techniques to get your relationship with your child back on track.


If you need assistance with matters related to parental alienation in New York City, call Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971.






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