Home > Parents > Offsetting Parental Alienation: Teenagers & Tactics

Offsetting Parental Alienation: Teenagers & Tactics

Offsetting Parental Alienation: Teens & Tactics By Monika Logan, LBSW   

 Dealing with Parental Alienation is tough. As noted by author of Divorce Poison, Dr. Richard Warshak, alienated parents have to develop a thick skin. There is  not  an easy answer. What works for one situation, will not work for another. Yet, keep in mind that   other disorders  also lack  clear-cut answers. A few contributing  factors are:   personality, temperament and affinity. Still, there are shared commonalities; age counts.  So does time. Time is  vital . The longer a parent hiked on the high-road, the harder the terrain will be. Exhaustion may  arrive–a little too early. Passivity may have replaced healthy activism. While we have not quite resolved the entire issue of PA, silence does not work. Silence (aka the high road) leads to dead ends, long dry spells, and boulders that will knock nearly all parents down—even those with the best preparation & territorial gear.  

 If you are a rejected parent and have contact with your alienated teenager, you probably discovered that reasoning and logic does not work. One tactic that may prove beneficial is your teens’ friends. They may possibly offset the programmed black & white thinking. Get ready. Open up your home. Grab junk food, turn up the latest hip-hop tunes and rent a couple of movies. Love others. While your own kid may dismiss you, other kids will not. In no doubt, your teen might manifest alienated behaviors such as, in your face defiance, destroying property,  or running up your water bill  just for fun;  there is nothing like an outsider thinking you are an okay parent.  

 An un-brainwashed teen frequently detests both their parent’s odd mannerisms. On the other hand, an alienated teen, views one parent as fault- free and the other as appalling. The so-called all bad parent did not have to do anything to deserve their low life status. Similarly, the favored parent did not have to do anything to earn their angelic standing. The truth is, their glorified status was achieved through shoddy tactics such as buying the teen unnecessary items while simultaneously shucking responsibility. The ex-spouse, may also have frequent pity parties making the teen feel guilty. Or, perhaps, allows the teen to blow off parental rules, values and exploit boundaries.    

Rejected parents are painfully aware that PA looks hopeless but it is not. God is bigger than parental alienation. Not long ago, a rejected mother shared what could be called a shock factor. The alienated mother is not perfect. She is average. The mother loves her teen and goes about day to day performing normal parental duties. The difference is, parenting an alienated teen is triple the pressure compared to non-alienated teens. She, like many others, lives with a spy . She also resides with a teen that disrespects her beyond the level of typical teens. One day, like many others, her teen demanded an after school meal, in his normal demeaning tone. Yet this time, the teen had a friend visiting. The mother, astonished, shared a needed assertion. The teen’s friend remarked, “I wish my mom was like yours.” The alienated mother noted that the look on her teens face was priceless. She later noted, she overheard the friend say, “Your mom is nice; you should not be so disrespectful.” And, “is she really as bad as you say?” A seed was planted.  

Without a doubt this mother was pleasantly surprised. Slowly, this mother’s teen left the house for school and actually said have a nice day, vs. slamming the door. Household items were no longer given to the ex spouse. The teen talked a little more, participated in family time, and even said thank you a time or two.  Definitely the teen was still somewhat blinded by the favored parent, but a seed was planted. The rejected parent cannot force an ex-spouse that is clearly capable of responsibility, to grow up. The rejected parent cannot rid their ex-spouses tote bag of entitlement, but it will have less impact. This story demonstrates how typical teen behaviors, such as loud music and asking for extended curfews may evolve.  

Some alienated parents use the aid of family. If the family understands alienation and does not undermine efforts, change is possible. Unfortunately, certain families follow common societal mentality. They mistakenly think if a child rejects a parent, the parent must be at fault. They believe if a teen acts nervous around a rejected parent, the parent must have done something to warrant the anxiety. The family member may, make the situation worse due to a  lack of insight. They fail to realize that if a favored parent has brainwashed a teen (starting at a young age, with the help of extended family) the teen will come to believe mom should be shunned. Accordingly, a fear response  will follow.  An outsider, another  teenager, offers random uncensored comments at unexpected times. Possibly, your teen may be shocked into thinking that maybe, just maybe, both parents are not perfect. And, given enough uncensored and un- planned comments, the teen may start to question the disrespect they dish out and the lie that one-sided family loyalty is necessary. Children should feel free to love both parents without the burden of guilt  or feelings of betrayal.

This article is not intended for any form of advice or therapy.
Categories: Parents
  1. Kay A. Sell
    August 23, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    How do you parent, if you don’t see your son. Our placement is 50/50, but I haven’t seen him since April, he won’t take my calls or emails. The courts are starting to work by ordering him into therapy, but they are so slow, time IS taking it’s toll on me and on him. Kay

    • tdurkin44
      July 23, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      Hi Kay – i am in the same situation. I haven’t seen my son in almost 4 months. I know it’s been 4 years since you posted but I hope you still get this message. How are things with your son now? do you have any tips or advice on how to deal with this?

    • Lucie
      October 23, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      WOW, our story is so close to yours, except my step son’s mother is the alienating person here. His father and I love him very much and now my step son will not call his father or me and will not answer emails. It is sooo sad. We have not had much contact at all for a few months now. How did you get the court to order the therapy? In our case his mother is a counselor herself and demands to pick out the counselors who will agree with her and who don’t know she is very sick and has a severe drinking problem and alienates his son from him. The counselor would have to know in detail about parental alienation. HOw can we make sure that a proper counselor sees him who is unbiased?

      • momma of alienation
        October 27, 2016 at 10:59 PM

        Contact the child abduction recovery unit in your city. They enforce orders and will get your child back for you. The family court is a joke and they will just let the alienator keep the child buying “the child is refusing” The DA child abduction unit specializes in this. The longer you let this go the more your child suffers and it is hard to undo what has been done by the alienator

  2. August 23, 2010 at 7:16 PM

    Hi Kay, sadly your situation is common. One more example that 50/50 or joint custody is ideal, but certainly does not work for all cases. And, as you noted, the orders are not enforced. I cannot give advice, but can offer support through resources. Please check out resources under the resource section. There are a lot of helpful support groups forming. In some cases, individuals have formed their own. Families going through this need support. One thing I will state: do not give up–you are not alone. Take care of yourself.

  3. June 9, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Thank you for writing this. My oldest daughter now has a boyfriend who used to come over quite frequently. One day, in an argument, my daughter actually said, “You’re different when my friends are around. They all think you’re cool, but they don’t know you like I do.” That one comment was a window- an opening for me. I often visit that thought, still hopeful that if it happens often enough, she will begin to see.

    A questions I have is about treatment. My daughters are in therapy and occasionally the doc meets with the kids’ dad and stepmom and me and my husband. I don’t think the doctor hears anything I am saying. He has not outright told me I am lying, but he has not helped me to understand what it is that I can do from my position. Or is there really nothing I can do? I think he sees how irrational the girls can be in their complaints, but my ex-husband is so calm and lighthearted when he denigrates me that he makes me look like the crazy one!

  4. June 9, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Hi Lisa, some parents have provided their therapist with information about parental alienation. As one social worker noted, “the absence of internal distress or conflict, this factor makes it appear that the alienating parent is the healthier parent. However, this appearance is misleading.” Indeed, it is misleading. Some call it “crazy making.” The alienating or also known as favored parents, do come across as “sane” parents. Target parents, out of desperation to restore relationships, come across as anxious and out of control. You may want to check out the resources from the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization. They have free materials. Dr. Richard Warshak also offers many articles and an outstanding book–Divorce Poison. In addition, he has a video, called Pluto that has helped educate not only parents but professionals too. His website may be viewed at http://www.warshak.com

  5. Trish
    September 22, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    I am a parent of a 15 1/2 year old daughter. Her father and I are still married. As a matter of fact I started a divorce three years ago. It was close to being final when he came back around begging me to take him back and dismiss the divorce. He was very upset that I was getting the marital home, and he even tried to charge me with domestic violence, (He had served time in jail for this offence to me) My lawyer was adamet about my not dropping the divorce,, but alas… I did.
    Fast forward to now,,,, he has undermined my relationship with our daughter,, gives her everything she wants and does what he can to make me look like an overbearing ogre.
    Now I believe he came back to me not to “work it out” but to position himself to take the house … he barely speaks to me… never takes me out, Please help me, I feel like I am going nuts here. It sounds like a soap opera,, but it is REALLY happening to me..

  6. Renee
    November 23, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    My stepdaughter moved in with her mother 1 1/2 years ago. She lived with her dad all her 16 years & me, 12 years. Courts gave mother residential rights because the child said she wanted to live with Mom & of course I was the “stepmonster”. The Gal sided with them, even though the mother has moved 15 times in as many years (and twice now since getting residential) but never to daughter’s school district. It was also proven that mother took daughter around cousin who molested her. And there is much more. I believe the mother is Borderline. Has taken us for custody 5 times in 12 years. Doesn’t follow court orders. Her way or the highway. Daughter told dad she is never coming back, won’t visit, won’t tell him why, has ignored me, my family, his family. He has seen her when he takes her to the dentist/doctor (mother came right out & said she won’t take her). Daughter never asks him how he’s doing, how’s work, how’s my stepmom, step siblings, neices & nephews.
    All in all, she has been alienated by her mother. It is so clear. Husband is giving her space, what counselors told him to do. I don’t think it’s the right thing. But daughter is almost 18 and won’t come over even if the courts ordered it. Which leads me to my question: should my husband try to intervene with help & is there anyone in Ohio that can help us?

  7. December 10, 2011 at 4:28 AM

    Renee: you noted, …”Husband is giving her space, what counselors told him to do” Studies indicate that children do not “outgrow” parental alienation. You may want to view the resources of Dr. Joshua Coleman and Dr. Richard Warshak. Also, visit Dr. Amy Baker’s page. She has an excellent book, Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties that Bind. Dr. Baker’s additional research, in 2007 indicated exactly what you and other parents report…. “Doesn’t follow court orders. Her way or the highway..” Also similar to another researcher, “a minority of parents who suffer from personality and mental disorders may ignore the court and spend their waking hours finding ways to exhaust the other parent emotionally and financially. Jaffe et al. (2010). Ignored court orders are common–it breeds alienation and promotes arrogate, alienating parents. Hopefully these resources will help. Lastly, if you have not visit the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization. Best of luck to you and your family.

    • Renee
      March 6, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      Your answers have been very insightful & I appreciate the resource information you supply.
      Step daughter has been in counseling over 8 months. Husband & ex have been to psychiatrist who asked about putting daughter on medicine. Mother jumped right in & said yes, husband said it is only a band-aid, would be ok for a short time, but someone needs to find out what is wrong. Ex denounces everything he says, then claims daughter & husband have issues but she doesn’t know why! Daughter just sits there and says nothing. Both refuse to share school information. Parent teacher meetings were last week. Ex told husband, then stated daughter & her had other place to be & would not be there. Not the first time she had made plans for daughter on husbands time. Be that as it may, now the counselors wants myself, husband & the ex in counseling for the benefit of helping daughter. Husband & ex have been in counseling before for a short time. However after 8 months I would have thought someone would have picked up on what is really going on. Husband is fed up, I am fed up and Ex & daughter just do what they want. And daughter is not longer hanging out with BFF’s. Only her mother & boyfriend. UGGGHHHHH!

  8. Vid
    January 7, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    My three daughters (14,12 &12 yrs old) have lived with my wife (step mom who is known them for 10yrs.) their 11 yr. old 1/2 sister (my wife’s daughter) and their “new” 4 yr. old sister whom they have known all her life (my wife’s and my new baby). We have a shared 50/50 custody agreement and have been doing it for the past four years and before that i was just a few days short of shared custody. I’ve always been in my girls life but have had to go to court and struggle with my ex wife to let me see them etc. On August 17th, 2011 the girls told me the did not like me, my home, hated me, and simply did not want to live with me/us anymore. This after a two weeks vacation with my ex, I had also “FELT” them change gradually in the past 6months to a year. I have/had been begging and asking my ex that we needed to meet, go to counseling or “anyone” to help us because I felt that we needed to let the girls know we are on the same page and that we need to have similar rules, conditions, etc. and each of our homes. She never wanted to meet, so on August 17th the girls called my ex wife and she “took” them from my home. Today is January 7th, 2012 and going on FIVE months w.out seeing them. I call, they don’t answer and the four times I’ve talked to them on the phone they just tell me how “happy” they are now, they don’t regret or have remorse in leaving and why can’t I get it that they don’t like me, don’t want to be with me, don’t want me around or in any of their activities etc. They are extremely disrespectful, and simply act as if we are dead, we don’t exist anymore. I’ve found out that my ex has allowed our 14yr. old to go on dates with an 18yr old, she even dropped them at the movies alone, has purchased them new ipods, smart phones, and I’ve seen my 14 yr. old on fb posting vulgar, really terrible things at all kinds of hours 2am, 3am, etc. She was even in an adult dating website and on a video chat room with some boy from 3am to 5am. Some of her friends said on fb that she should not be having “full out make out sessions” etc. I LOVE MY GIRLS and my life has turned upside down, having a hard time sleeping, working as I feel my family is destroyed and see my sweet girls sliding down the wrong road, the girls have all even told me that I would not approve of their friends but that their mother, my ex, allows them to go on parties etc. I certain feel that I am alienated, all of the sudden what ever faults and frailties GOD gave me have been magnified by 1,000’s. My ex has filed in court to have sole custody and I am trying to fight this because she is not acting in the best interest of the girls. However, the girls have now said they want to talk to the judge and tell him GOD knows what lies and inventions about me. Please any response and light you can share is welcomed. Thanks, VId – A loving father.

  9. January 8, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    Your situation of 50/50 is an example , supported by research, that shared custody is not a panacea for parental alienation. It is ideal, but one has to follow court orders. As you mentioned, you “had to go to court and struggle with my ex wife to let me see them.”Dr. Amy Baker, in several studies, found that alienating parents refuse to follow court orders. If a campaign of denigration is intense, as mentioned by Dr. Bone, a parent can become alienated almost overnight. Weekends and vacations, for some, is not a time of enjoyment, but is used by the alienating parent to bad-mouth the other. Many parents like you asked the ex-spouse to attend counseling, but they won’t. They do not care. You also stated, “ they don’t regret or have remorse in leaving.” Dr. Richard Gardner indicated this is a hallmark of PAS. Your children state this, but it does not mean it is true. Alienated children will say they hate you, will refuse calls etc. They behave as such because they are taught. Sadly, too, the disrespect you speak of is all too common. And, as you know, it is not “typical” disrespect—it stems far beyond what most parents deal with. It is not uncommon for the purchase of unnecessary items to lure children and teens—it aids in the alignment. Unfortunately too, many alienating parents will let them break all kinds of rules just so the kid will remain “on their side.”Some alienating parents will not make their kids attend school, and as in your case, allow a minor to date someone older.

    As far as shedding light, this page was created for support by offering resources. As a start: Dr. Kathleen Reay has a workbook to help alienated parents cope with this form of stress and rejection. She pointed out that her mother always said regarding an issue “don’t just sit there—do something. I decided to do something—the reason for this page. Dr. Reay’s page is located at: http://parentalalienationhelp.org. Public education will help bring awareness about this horrific form of abuse. So, what can you do? Keep your strength. Know that your children are taught to be rude, mean, and disrespectful. Some parents become advocates; they create blogs and videos. Many helping professionals are doing so as well (counselors, social workers, psychologists, etc.) You may want to become involved with the parental alienation awareness organization. They offer many downloads and post events. There is also the work of Dr. Bone; he has a great book titled, The Essentials of Parental Alienation Syndrome. Dr. Richard Warshak’s book, titled Divorce Poison is a must read. His book captures the nuances of PAS and is one of the few that offers suggestions to possible responses when an ex-spouse simply will not play fair .He also has a video that is suited for children, teens, parents and educators. Best of luck to you.

  10. Vid
    January 8, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Thank you for your response. I am educating myself as much as possible as we are going to be in court. We don’t have a date yet but I’ve compiled a lot of evidence about the actions my ex is allowing my children to do. I see how she is being neglectful in the supervision or guidance of our daughters. She is allowing the so much freedom that it is scary. So I will continue to struggle and fight for my girls rights and well being.

    Thanks!
    Vid, Loving Father.

  11. Julie
    February 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    I also am to have 50/50 but I am fighting a courthouse where my x’s family runs it.I am in a county that doesn’t even have 1 stop light in the entire hick county. The judge will not even do anything what he put as my legal rights. I have close to 1000 contempts but yet the judge will not do anything to him. I have not had my daughters since Dec 21, 08. I know nothing on my daughters. They will not do anything with my family. How would you like to get a text message from someone that one of your daughters is in the hospital but you don”t know who, what ,where. When you try calling you find out his numbers have been disconnected. You try to find out at hospitals but you have to take off work to show you have legal rights and they are yours but yet you still can’t find out because he says those are not up to date. All lies. I pay my child support but yet know nothing. Iowa does not have laws for PAS but there is plenty of help for those who are dead beat parents.

    • February 13, 2012 at 1:24 AM

      Julie, thank you for your comment. Sad but true: PAS is often times dismissed and denied as a form of child abuse. Parents and professionals attuned to the phenomenon know the current reality: court orders are worthless. Parents that participate in alienating behaviors refuse to follow decrees and parenting plans. As you are probably aware, some parents move across state lines, or leave the country. While clearly, some parents may move to protect himself or herself (and the children) from a physically abusive spouse, others such as cases of PAS, do so simply to “remove” the parent from the child’s life—it is a form of revenge. If you can, please find a helping professional that understands PAS dynamics. Also, you may want to connect with the parental alienation awareness organization. April 25th is Parental Alienation Awareness Day. I gather you are in a rural area. Dr. Kathleen Reay, http://www.parentalalienationhelp.org mentioned creating a blog or page for alienated children. This is certainly a personal decision. Some parents have opted for this route, as their cries for help fell on deaf ears. You may also plan an event to help create awareness about this horrific form of emotional abuse. Best of luck to you.

  12. Vera
    April 27, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    I never thought that my ex would brainwash my son, but when a girl came in the picture, all of a sudden my 14 year old son wanted to live at his dad’s. My relationship with my son has deteriorated the longer he went without seeing me. How can I get my son’s love back when he has come up with ludicrous stories, and our counselor deal’s with him with kid gloves. His first counselor saw it, my counselor saw it, and the GAL saw it. When will this one see the truth, and what can I do in the meantime…..I”m tired of crying…….

  13. Vera
    April 27, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    Should I offer 50/50 or let my son decide whenever he wants to see me. Right now I get 3.5 hours per week (after raising him for 141/2 years). Usually I feel worse after the visit although he is cordial. My husband hates how he treats me, and that’s a battle too. My son won’t get in the car with me, and won’t come over to my house. We meet twice a week for a meal at a restaurant……it seems crazy to me, and I don’t know what more I can do to make anything better. He has said he’s not sure he wants things to get better. Is it worth fighting more in court?

    • cindy
      August 5, 2015 at 3:44 AM

      Very similar to my situation. Heart breaking. Counseling that I went to lectured me on understanding feelings. I stopped after 4 visits.

  14. April 27, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    Hi Vera, An expert in parental alienation, Dr. Richard Warshak, in his article, Payoffs and Pitfalls of Listening to Children — 2003, addresses some of your questions. His book Divorce Poison also covers proper responses to poor parental treatment. It seems easy as you questioned, to…”let my son decide whenever he wants to see me” however, as most studies show, we do not let a 14 year old decide if they should complete homework, attend school, or drive before their time. Given the importance of having two loving parents, most helping professionals would suggest not to let your son decide. In the meantime, you may want to work with the parental alienation awareness organization. Yes, parental alienation can indeed cause division in many second marriages as the new spouse observes the hatred towards his/her spouse. Or, sometimes, the irrational rejection is aimed at the step parent. There are many workbooks, such as Dr. Kathleen Reay and Dr. Joshua Coleman. Dr. Warshak also has a video, titled, “Pluto.” If you have faith or a church family, I would suggest prayer. It is vital to have a good support system–one that will not dismiss parental alienation as the result of bad parenting, or “two bickering parents.” Wishing you peace.

    http://www.warshak.com/publications/resources-purchase.html
    http://parentalalienationhelp.org/meet-dr-kathleen-reay/

  15. Toni
    May 7, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Hello. This type of alienation was being attempted all my son’s life (the dad was mad that the court ordered monitored visits, and has target me as retribution- he’s a very controlling abuser). Even the monitor at the facility wrote up a visit where my son literally asked his dad to stop saying bad things about his mom (he was 7 at the time). The father had monitored contact and anger management ordered by the court for a run of almost 2 years. After which I was given primary physical custody (still joint legal) and I had my son all the time except every other weekend. This was decided on with the recommendation of an extensive court ordered evaluation by their personnel. All worked really well. As my son got older, he said his dad had really seemed to calm down. His dad even said the anger management really helped him. Then my son got into a wonderful middle-high school that was near his father, who had completed his anger management requirements. So, I would allow extra time if he wanted it with his dad… a few days here and there. When I would set normal, appropriate teenage limits, ie no $20 reward if homework wasn’t turned in that week… no facebook until schoolwork was completed, etc, he’d call his now nearby dad and say, “Mom’s being a bitch.” The dad would say, “I’m so sorry!” and come and take him away to his place. They’re both bigger than I am, and I could not stop it. I sent emails to the father saying he was rendering my parenting ineffective. He wrote back, “So sue me for contempt of court.” That was all he said. Now, I’ve been paying a tutor at the school to help my son pass 10th grade (his work has nose dived since this started in middle school, he had been an A student, now he’s failing everything and smoking pot and cigarettes). The tutor called me and said that the one time she met his father, his father referred to me in front of our son as “a piece of work.” She felt very uncomfortable with that and suggested I look up PAS. All the signs to look for are EXACTLY what’s been happening. I haven’t seen him except for one day for a month now, and he texted me awful, hateful & disrespectful things when I’ve tried to set boundaries in a soft spoken, loving and compassionate way. Apparently I’m the reason his dad has no money, his dad has more fun music equipment there, his dad doesn’t make him go to school when he’s tired from being on facebook at 3am the night before, etc. I said I would continue paying for the tutoring (the dad doesn’t pay for anything) as long as he was no longer truant from those classes he needed the tutoring in. But that makes my love “conditional” and me, a “bitch.” A friend of mine suggested that perhaps this was teenage behavior rather than PAS because my son lived with me all those years until recently, and truly loved me during all those years. He was respectful, demonstrative, responsible, and loving. He knew I had his back, and appreciated me for the majority of his life. This is relatively new behavior. Does this sound like successful PAS, or teenage rebellion and the need of a boy to align himself with and please his father? Thankyou for your time and consideration. I’m in the west L.A. area, and don’t know where to turn if this is indeed PAS. Warm Regards.

  16. May 8, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Hi Toni, it is normal for teenagers to attempt to gain independence. Temporary alignment is common too. However, answering your question is best suited from a therapist in your area–one that has worked with parental alienation.

    There are some clear signs that you have endured many of aspects of irrational rejection. One clue is having an ex that will not work amicably, as you noted, “So sue me for contempt of court” from your description, co-parenting will not work when a person believes he or she is above the law. Cases of parental alienation include one parent that mocks the law and violates orders.

    Another give away is continuous badmouthing, “where my son literally asked his dad to stop saying bad things about his mom” As you know, a seven year old should not hear adult information. As a teenager you stated that his disrespect is relatively new behavior–you may want to ask yourself the source of his new behavior, where does it originate? i.g. a new group of friends? or from your ex-spouse? Also, most experts would suggest not to let him make the decision to stop seeing you. One day a month is not much time. Most parents and experts alike would suggest you keep the time you have (I am assuming you have more than one day per month).

    Teenagers are not adults. We force them to comply with important tasks in life such as attending school and completing chores–seeing you should be on this list. If he is deciding to only see you one day a month, he will learn that he can do as he pleases. Also, your son should not have to endure hearing “your the fault of your ex-spouses financial distress” or any other denigrating statement. If time is decreased in seeing you and insults are increased by your ex-spouse, it is likely that your relationship with your son will worsen. Parental alienation or not, his grades are poor, he has poor boundaries and he is not doing well overall–this alone is a concern.

    You may want to obtain a copy of Divorce Poison by Dr. Richard Warshak. His book is unique as most other books discuss the obvious, such as the importance of good communication, “I” messages etc. when working with an ex-spouse. Divorce Poison can help respond to alienating parents, such as the example that you provided (when you attempted to co-parent) “so sue me for contempt of court.”

    • Toni
      February 21, 2016 at 9:04 PM

      Thank you for this reply. Perhaps unwittingly missing the notification button to see replies, I think I missed it. That time was an overflow of stress and deadlines, I apologize for apparently not thanking you. It’s now quite a few years later, and we got through it. My ex did not win his suit in court, but it took years of court dates as our son went from a consistent 4.0 GPA to failing the entire 10th grade. Now, years later, my son’s anger has shifted along with his maturity, to his father. He doesn’t even have all the information, only his memories, but he’s figured it out for the most part. Once the waged court battle was over and his father was told, “No” by the court, his father returned to being the uninvolved selfish person he’d been before he thought he could make support money by suing me for custody. Now my struggle is trying to help an almost 20 year old forage through that big heartache as it manifests in low self esteem and at times, self destructive behavior. I want to tell other women going through this, that their ex will most likely not win their emotional war they wage if we don’t respond in the same way. Much might depend on your relationship with your child before the alienation starts (my son and I had been close), but I’m here to tell you that if they’re intelligent kids, they can figure it out on their own. These exes can’t keep up the fakery forever. It takes time. Get ready to try and help your son or daughter through THAT phase. Be the rock, now and at that time.

  17. sue
    October 10, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    I just discovered this now! my daughter is 19 and this had been going on all her life from her father!! I just found out about this syndrome on a radio show last week……omg!!

  18. Jill
    October 16, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    I can’t say how relieved I am to have found this site. My son went to his dad’s at the end of March, this year. I have only been able to see him for one hour, since then. I believe that my ex husband has been preparing for our son’s 14th birthday, as that is the time when the courts would give more strength to his wishes of living arrangements. Scenarios have occurred, in the past where my son has been hyped up about something only to be told he could have it if he chooses to live its his dad 
    I have seen a few different lawyers and therapists. My son and I have been having an increasingly tumultuous relationship, over the past few years. Otherwise, we have been extremely close. At the beginning of this year, when things really took on momentum, we decided to focus on regaining our relationship. My son agreed to go to counseling, so that we could more effectively work on things. Then, another blow up in March, and he was gone. The overall “advice” that I have received is that this is awful….my ex sounds like a monster…the courts will let him remain at his father’s….and I should figure out how to cope, and move on.
    Our custodial arrangement, since our son was a year old (when I left my ex) has been that I have primary care and control. My ex has taken liberties since then with the boundaries of this agreement. I have tried to play fair, and pick my battles. I, too, have heard my son explain that he has had to ask his dad to stop bad mouthing me. His new wife has even told him that it is inappropriate to make such comments. Growing up, my son never felt he was a priority to his father. Although I have reached out to his father, to get him to realize this, and make the necessary amends, so that their relationship is not permanently damaged, I have always been accused of trying to “steal” our son away from him. 
    Now, my son writes to me that he has thought of suicide, while at my house, has wanted out for years, and only ever said those things to me because he thought I wanted to hear them. I feel like I am riding the crazy train. Last week, my ex served me with an affidavit to vary our custody arrangement to primary care and control to him, as well as final decision making. Additionally, he wants back pay of child support to April, 2012, as well as for me to cover all courts costs. 
    This from a man who has repeatedly accused me of only wanting my son for the financial gain through child support. I just want to sell everything I own, and run away from home! This situation feels so completely and utterly hopeless, and I feel completely helpless. Living with the physical pain of this void, every day, knowing that the very system that is in place to protect families has essentially ignored my 14 year history of his breaking the rules. They say a judge can’t force him to be a nice guy. Now, this not-so-nice guy can waltz in, steal and brain wash my child, and then financially benefit from the fruits of his abhorrent abuse of the law, and his systematic dismantling of my relationship with my son.
    I know they say Karma will give him what is due, but it cannot get back the lost time with my child. The thought of the effects this will have on the shaping of my son’s view of the world, and women in general breaks my heart. Besides diplomatically scripted replies to Facebook messages, I send, I have been completely cut off from my son. To add insult to injury, my lack of presence is being used as a basis for this variance of custody.
    I am lost.

    • jc
      May 19, 2015 at 5:59 AM

      Are you still going through this? Please let me know the outcome.. This is my life at the moment, as I lay awake in tears at 2 am…

      • MM
        January 25, 2017 at 1:04 AM

        Hope you both are in a better place emotionally. We have be here for each other even though we are suffering a horrible, silent pain. I am starting down the same road with my 13 year old son. Cheers and strength!

  19. Tamara
    October 8, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Hi, I am a single mom, of two, I have an 8 year old and a 13 year old. I have 50/50 custody, with their father. My 13 year old has been severly minipulated, and brainwashed, turned against me so badley that court ordering her to be with me was pointless. She would threaten to run away, and her father wouldn’t encourage her to come with me, so it put me in a negitive light to both my children, if I forced either of them to be with me. At this point I don’t see my oldest unless I attend her Soccer games, or when I pick up or drop off her sister. My youngest is influenced to remain loyal to her dad and step mom. My 8 yr old appears to me to be torn between me and her step mom, and father. They create situations that put her in the middle. It is a very disturbing problem I have been dealing with for 2 years now, and it doesn’t get any easier.

    • Anonymous
      February 7, 2014 at 7:58 PM

      I am almost in the exact same situation. 12 yo daughter who hates my guts while dad (who fought for custody, but as of right now I am ordered to remain residential parent) can do NO WRONG. She is hateful and disrespectful and the look in her eyes is pure hatred toward me. She is mad that I “won’t let her go live with dad” (who lives in another school district AND state). My daughter says its not a bribe, but that she’ll get a horse if she moves down there…… Whatever!!

  20. November 12, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Great advice. unfortunately, my teen daughter is severely alienated from me (her mom), her grandmother, and her brother as her dad, a businessman collects child support from me, which is one reason why he manipulated and conned her into moving in with him. The other is to continue to abuse me. He sends me emails clearly intended to torment me. The legal system is impotent against a man who boldly lies and refuses to comply.

  21. Jane D
    April 10, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Is it ever appropriate for a stepmom to advocate on behalf of her husband to his children? They are teens/young adults, ages 15-25. Their mom thrives in the spotlight, craves attention and sympathy, and has never encouraged a strong relationship between the children and my husband. I entered the picture when the youngest were 11 and 13 and adored their dad. Now, the youngest has cut off all ties with his dad, refusing to come for visits or to speak with him other than an occasional directive text, advising that he doesn’t want us to attend or participate in any of his school activities, let alone communicate with us. We drive almost 250 miles one way to attend these events on a regular basis, sometimes twice a week, because my husband wants to be a part of their lives. The emails and texts he receives are obviously parroted words this child has heard from his mother and his older sister, who is a carbon copy of her mom. When my husband received the first litany of complaints and demands from his son, he made plans to drive to see his son the next day to talk things over and work things out. But his ex-wife informed him that his son would prefer to handle things via email, and basically nixed the visit. Things have gotten progressively worse, to the point that he has not visited our home for nearly a year. I promised myself and my husband that I would never interfere with his relationship with his children, and readily acknowledged that they would always come before me (as I have the same relationship with one of my two sons – the other has cut all ties with me after I left his dad following a psychiatric disorder diagnosis and his refusal to seek treatment, escalating to the threat of physical violence). But more and more, I feel as though I could/should speak as the voice of reason, since the children’s mother is more than happy to see these relationships deteriorate, ensuring that all of their focus, love and attention will be on her. Is there ever a time when I can speak out of love, without degrading their mother, assuring them that their father loves these kids more than they can possibly know, and is only trying to respect their wishes, while all the time it is killing him? I have considered a message sent to all of them simultaneously, knowing that it will be shared with their mother – I have no problem with that. I just want them to hear the other side. They have said that their feelings are not as a result of our marriage – all indications are that they do like me and don’t bear any ill will toward me, and I do love these kids, too. My husband will readily admit he flees from conflict and confrontation, which has made this situation all the harder for him. He has given up all hope of their relationship ever being healed. I’m not willing to do that yet. But I don’t want to speak out of turn. Reading your comments makes me believe that silence isn’t always golden when it comes to parental alienation. Or as a stepmom, should I continue to remain in the background and support my husband?

  22. Toi Toi
    September 15, 2015 at 6:08 AM

    Hi,
    I have only recently learned the term “Parental Alienation”, but have felt the consequences of it for 5 years as I haven’t had a conversation with my 16 1/2 yo since he was 11.

    I am deeply shocked at the thousands of much worse stories than mine and can only imagine the anguish some of you are feeling.

    Although it’s been a long time, I have two things in my favour
    1. The major alienator (his father) is dead (2 months ago)
    2. I have a wonderful and loving relationship with my 19 yo son, who has a good relationship with his brother.
    The alienated one is still living with his step mother, who was complicit in the alienation.
    He is too old for the courts to be of any use.
    I have been ordered to pay Child Support and I have no access or way of getting him to therapy.

    But reading some of the available information, I understand there are things I can do that will encourage him back.

    If there is any information anyone has about how to reconnect with him, and then how to deal with him once I have some communication, I would so appreciate it.

    Thanks in anticipation.

  23. KAS
    February 14, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    I have three children 20,18 and 15 and my relationship with my two sons is great but my 18 daughter hates me and has for years. Her father left the family 6 years ago and immediately started a campaign to alienate the kids. It didn’t work with my boys, but it sure did with my daughter. He told my daughter that it is all my fault he left because I “couldn’t keep him happy” (never mind he was carrying on an affair and his girlfriend wrote me a letter telling me this). When my daughter had a party when I was out of town, I grounded her, but he let her go out on weekends when she was staying with him. He makes a ton more money than I do and showered her with expensive clothes, shoes, etc. When she turned 16 he threw her a huge party that was comparable to a wedding. He manipulated her telling her that I was crazy and that she didn’t have to listen to me and also to block my phone number and not listen to any of my rules. He let her drop classes at school, even though I am the custodial parent. You get the idea. I have tried my best. I do not go out and I work full-time and my main concern is my kids. He, on the other hand, has forfeited his visitation many times and comes hours late when he even shows up. His social life is a much bigger priority than the kids. I am the day to day parent and the responsible one. My daughter’s hatred for me grows more each day. She has been physically violent many times and hits me when my back is turned. She tells me every day how much she hates me and wants me dead and that she wants to live with her father. I have asked him to have her live with him and he doesn’t want her. He currently lives with a new girlfriend who doesn’t get along with my daughter. I am at my breaking point because its so hard to live with someone who perceives me as the enemy. I dread being home with her because her behavior is so hateful and mean. I am cursed at and wished dead every single day. I am very depressed over this situation and my daughter stopped going to therapy because her father told her that she was fine and I was the one with the problem and that I was crazy. I am honestly at the end of my rope. He fills her head up with lies. He tells her I have all his money from child support and alimony even though I have a small fraction of what he makes. He is a narcissist and she is his puppet. When she is extra mean and abusive towards me, a check magically appears in the mail to my daughter from him telling her that he is “proud of her”. I wish I didn’t care but I do and it hurts me to the core of my being. My therapist says to let it go, but it is so hard when it’s your own child. I don’t know how to recover from this.

    • Toni
      February 21, 2016 at 8:33 PM

      Had to reply to you because what you’ve written is uncannily to the details (except I have a son, and the divorce occurred when he was 2) what happened to me. I hope I can help you by being a few years along in this now. Your life will not freeze this way, though it feels like it at times. I could repeat every detail you mentioned here, but just know they all mirror my situation with my son. When his previously uninvolved “father” thought he’d figured a way to make me return what little he’d paid of his child support (the rest I had to garnish a portion of his income), he figured that suddenly wooing our teenager to stay with him (I had custody), lie to the court about the actual amount of time, and sue me to return any custody money I had been able to collect, was a slam dunk. It of course didn’t work. Unfortunately it took 2 years of court dates, my son falling for the deception (hey, his dad was suddenly interested and the cool one apparently), and a previously 4.0 GPA plummeting to failing the 10th grade entirely from not showing up. Dad’s home music studio was much more fun. What I came here to tell you is this. I picked up the pieces of his messed up school life and was very careful to let him realize on his own what had happened to him. If you join in the negative banter with your ex, in the long run your daughter won’t be able to separate you two parents in her memory. I recommend thinking long term, and distinguishing yourself from your ex, right now. My son is now 19 and I have marked in my mind the moments when he has revealed to me that he has figured out the selfishness and manipulative nature of his “father.” These terrible types of people cannot endlessly mask who they really are from our children. He has become more of who he was before my ex began that awful campaign to malign me for money. They figure it out. Because I was the sane parent, the parental parent, willing to fall on my sword for them and wear the black hat, my son seems to really trust me now. Meanwhile please know you’re not alone. Try to respond to your daughter in love (think ahead and imagine her having figured this out in a few years). Right now, because of what happened, my son now has a new challenge in that he is vehemently hurt and angry with his “father” for it. They need ONE stable parent who can look ahead and be their rock. Hang in there. xx

  24. Dora M Stout
    March 15, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    My fiance and I are getting married. He has a 18year old daughter who he hasn’t seen since she was 13 years old he calls her all the time and leaves her voicemails n text messages but no response. Also the police get called on him every time he shows up to try to see her at her house because her mother wontt let him to have anything to do with her. She also punishes the child if she answers the phone and so on. Long story short he has taken the so-called high-road to not cause problems for his child by taking a step back and just calls her on holidays and hopes that she calls him back.she is 18 now and knows that he is able to do something but isn’t quite sure what. I want him to have a relationship with his daughter and for her to be at our wedding. He also is low income and her mother trys to get him put in jail every month for any little thing at domestic relations (child support). we are ggood people and attend church and our relationship struggles from his depression and i know he will be sad on his wedding day if he cant see her. He pays his payments and if a ridiculous court notion arrives he pays more money which is draining us financially. He has an old court order that can’t be en forced due to it being so old and going back to court for custody isn’t an option bc she is 18 now. Any advice? We live in Shippensburg, pa so any help is much appreciated.

  25. Mary
    March 22, 2016 at 11:27 PM

    I am a single mom and my three children are in their early twenties. I’ve been divorced about 10 years. All three are still on a campaign to shun me and hurt me. When my youngest was a sophomore in Highschool, I gave up sole custody for joint custody. My ex sued me for custody and child support and won because my youngest wanted to live with him. My children made my life miserable until I relented. I was video taped without my knowledge, audio tapes without my knowledge, had the police called on me several times (which nothing was ever found wrong), had DCFS called on me several times, they stole my credit card and took money from my bank account. I’ve been ignored, yelled at and called every name in the book. My ex has successfully alienated all three of my children. I have given up hope. I’m not so sure that I want a relationship with them any more because of their abuse. Children are responsible for their part in ruining a parent/child relationship to a certain extent. There is only so much a parent can put up with and put up with.

    • Dora
      March 30, 2016 at 5:40 PM

      Never give up hope. God has his own plan in life and his own time for things there will be a time and a place for you to see your kids again as there will be for all of us. There is always counseling with the children and the parents. I know these situations are hard as I live in one every day with my fiance. All you can do is pray and Hope never give up hope but don’t let it hold back living your life at this point if your children are doing wrong and the significant others doing wrong it doesn’t mean that you have to and you can be happy knowing that you were doing the right thing and living a good life and doing the best you can to be there and your children will need you in the future.

      • MM
        January 25, 2017 at 9:20 PM

        Find a support group and move on with your life-FOR YOU. Your children are grown now and the damage is done. You can only change yourself. My therapist once told me that when my ex-husband calls me names, etc., I make the huge mistake of buying into or believing that the names he calls me might be true. They are not. If you don’t stand up for yourself, then they will continue to treat you badly. Eventually, your children will see the stronger you. Continue to be involved with them for special occasions, like their birthdays, but set your boundaries. You will be amazed at what can change with regard to their attitude toward you. Please look around for a divorce support group. You need what I call the 2 V’s–validation and vocabulary. You will find both in a support group and learn how to re-train your children to treat you. I’ll be sending good vibes your way!!

      • crrblmfld
        July 19, 2017 at 2:56 PM

        Dora, I loved what you wrote here. I too am a believer in God and that there must a purpose for the hurt we are experiencing. I struggle with moving on with my life as I feel guilty, like I”m leaving them behind. I would really appreciate being able to connect more directly to receive and provide support through this time. Hope to hear back, and if not, best wishes to you and your family. 🙂

  26. Shannon
    May 18, 2016 at 6:08 AM

    This is amazing. This is happening to me and really started heavily shortly after I served my ex w papers for arrearages he owes me in excess of 13k. About 6 months ago. Too long to go into specifics but basically all 3 of my kids have been treating me horribly, (19- son, 17- daughter, 16- son). My 19 yr old moved in w his dad and has blocked me from his phone, never calls. I KNOW I have not done anything to deserve or merit my kids behavior. I am convinced my ex is poisoning them against me. He was also abusive in our marriage.
    What can I do? My kids won’t even talk to me. I feel helpless and know the courts really don’t do anything or hardly and it takes forever. My daughter always says how wonderful her dads girlfriend is also, while fishing out hate on me.
    His girlfriend just recently moved in with him also. So much more can’t even begin to say…
    I have felt like giving up and moving far away because my kids don’t want me or will let me “love ” them anyways…

    • Toni
      May 22, 2016 at 8:20 PM

      Hey Shannon, hang in there. Kids don’t understand that’s their money you’re fighting to get for them. You can win that money (go get it!), but the court is mostly useless against alienation. A lot of what you describe is the natural dynamic of teens towards the parent who actually parents them. While it is possible your ex is making hay with that dynamic, the dynamic exists regardless. In time, if he parents them at all, they’ll hate him too. Meanwhile, respond to your kids in love and patience. Be the grown up who gets it, and think about taking your turn to be the mom version of the “Disneyland Dad.” Of equal importance, take some time now to be good to yourself. Be happy when they see you, be the vibe they want to be around. Let the dad and new gf deal with the teenage angst for awhile. It could be amusing to watch it implode. Sending lots of support your way. xx

      • Shannon
        June 7, 2016 at 7:34 AM

        Hi Toni,

        Thank u so much for your encouragement. The pain and hurt is sometimes unbearable. I can do nothing right in my daughter’s eyes, especially her (17), more than my sons (16 and 19). She takes it way over and past typical teenage anger, and has wished my death upon me at least half a dozen or more x. She has also says things specific things, that she made reference to that could only have stemmed from her dad sharing stuff about my taking him to court for the 13k and a few other specific things only her dad and I shoul have known about. And none of my kids (although I’ve never been able to seem to have a close relationship w my daughter , and side note I left her father when she was 4), have ever been SO mean to me. And my daughter ? Her disdain and disrespect for me is unreal. She calls me horrid things you couldn’t dream a child would call their mother and unmerited.
        I sometimes feel like there is no hope, that it’s too far gone, that I’ll never have a relationship w her. Perhaps my sons, but the hope w her is meek at best.

        I am seeing a counselor, but I really don’t know what can actually be done. I am broken. I feel like I’ve lost so much time with them, especially my daughter. I don’t see an end in sight w her demeanor.
        Thank you for your caring and support, best to you, big hug,
        Shannon

    • John Martin
      May 29, 2016 at 9:03 PM

      Hi Shannon! First of all, if you need to talk to someone I am here.I have to have faith in God to hang in my sitch.I will tell you what I believe to be true, you pick out anything that works for you. Truth and time are on your side if you are innocent and have a clear mind. Every person was created to solve a problem. Where you are is as important as who you are. Chances are you feel for your kids more than anyone else. So, you may be where you are supposed to be. Keep loving them without any putting down of Dad. Oh he deserves it for sure. But, YOU rise above it, take the high road, and stay on it at ALL costs.Read Dr Douglass Darnells two books, Divorce Casualties. You can skim around to find the parts that deal with your teenagers, Parental Alienation Syndrome is real. Teens have a better chance of coming out of it sooner, supposedly, because they are more mature and can figure it out. NO guarantees. You could be alienated for keeps. But let’s say you are. Stay a while, give it your best shot, and if you have to move on to get away from the self inflicted torture, then move on. There is no guarantee they will come back,but usually there is a good chance, and it comes when they are in trouble, or need money. That sucks, but they are kids, and not smart..I am giving you the personal advice I received from DR Darnellthrough my phone counseling. Now youcan use it. Do not forget birthdays and special occasions, make sure you document everything you give them, because he may be destroying it and intercepting everything. I could share my misery with you, but you need help. I am here. John

  27. John Martin
    May 21, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    What about alienated teens who do not speak to you for a year. I am a Great Dad who was super close to all three of my daughters 22,19, and 18. their Mom is 50 had an affair with a 29 year old co-worker, and never came around. She filed a false restraining order, filed for divorce, took the girls moved 5 miles down the road. next thing I know I am alone for a year. I have maintained one-sided contact, kept up with their counselors and teachers. constantly send unanswered love letters and gifts, and encouragement. I have to leave them at school because my wife is an obsessed parental alienator, see Dr Douglass Darnell Divorce Casualties. Do I just keep up the love work? John

  28. clare
    July 19, 2016 at 9:02 PM

    When you have a narcissistic ex n two teens and they all suddenly collude to shut you out. ..there is no, ‘keep the lines of communication open’ and thus the narcissist wins. There is no hope. Great mum of 16 years and a further 3 of alienation . Sad but true. Also whole maternal family alienated. Kids turned into their abusive father despite my efforts for so long. Spare the rod…..

    • Kass
      July 26, 2016 at 9:09 PM

      Oh I really know how you feel. I have 3 kids, two sons 21 and 16 and an 18 year old daughter. My daughter has been 100% turned against me by her narcisstic father. He, too, complains about the money he pays for alimony and child support and includes her in our private legal battles. My daughter expresses hatred of me daily, uses physical and mental abuse, wishing me dead, hitting me, cursing at me, telling me to kill myself, spitting in my face. Well you get the general idea. My life with her is a living nightmare. She hates me because her father told her that he left out family because I couldn’t keep him happy. He was a serial adulterer, that is why we are divorced. I am lucky because my sons stand by my side. My older so sees the truth of his father’s narcissism, and his younger brother follows him. Thank God, it is so painful to have your child reject you. Nothing worse.

    • John Martin
      July 27, 2016 at 12:21 AM

      Listen Clare, there is always hope. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER GIve Up! I am here to make sure you understand some things you have forgotten or no longer believe because something didn’t happen in time to meet your calendar. It’s Gods calendar. You’re looking at your stop watch. God has a calendar. LOVE CONQUERS ALL. You can listen to these wonderful doctors on here full of great experiential advice, and it may work it may not. I am working with Dr Doug Darnell and he told me that my 3 daughters may never come back to me. Is it true? No. I am thinking of family restoration. Is anyone else. No, But God hears my prayers. Love wins in the end . Darkness does not prevail. Young minds are just that. Albeit dumb would be cruel, it is accurate. They mature, It may be months it may be years but LOVE WINS. You will win. Heep loving coals on their heads until they give in and figure out you are the coolest person on earth. If you can’t talk to them like me. You can keep sending cards. maybe if your’e luckier than me you have an email address or a spouse who let’s your mail reach your daughters. Mine doesn’t I aint quittin. I am learning to act as if I already won! Get in that exact state of mind and stay there every minute possible. What you will see, is that the Lord your God will complete his work in YOU. You will reach the plateau. They will see it, And they will come runnin some day for you. Think of the tears you may likely have to hold back. Think of the pain you will have to let go of because you love them….You will WIN!!!

  29. Nikii
    August 12, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    These stories sound like my life. I have a stepchild who I have been in her life for 12 years. Since right after her parents divorced due to mothers affair. Her mother has made a career of alienating her father. Not giving him info, not putting him on paperwork for schools, doctors, soccer, etc. Child would sob and beg not to go back to moms house. We tried to get physical custody a few years ago. Mom lives in a Podunk town and knew the judge and child advocate we had to pay to see the child. Lady spent 10 minutes when required to spend 10 hours with child. Saw mom, who she knew from living in the town and decided to not follow child’s wishes, or best interest. Mother would leave child home alone with younger sibling over night with no phone or way to contact anyone, force her to do all housework and care for her younger child, drive while drinking, etc. Then we were going to try again this year. Suddenly child changed her mind. Mother promised her and took her on beach vacation on our time. Didn’t follow court order, then told child to say she didn’t want to see father on her birthday. She parroted a phrase from her mother. (That’s how we know). Now mom is trying to force husband to allow an out of the country vacation next year on his time. Convincing child he is the bad guy. Child went from sweet and loving to lying constantly, bad grades, poor work ethic in sports, rude to us and siblings, taking things from our home over to mothers for no reason that we bought. Stealing things from me and other children. Not coming on our visitation days. Mom has always punished her for involving us in her life and rewarded her for any cruel behavior to us. Husband is super passive and always has given in to avoid argument with ex. So now if he says anything she freaks out and says he is punishing them both. Tried to tell child I was cause of divorce even though I didn’t meet him til after they were divorced. She also told child that our kids weren’t her siblings but the half sister and step siblings at moms house were. Our house has rules, grades must be kept up, no lying, do your best, can’t be rude or cruel, lose devices if you misbehave, etc. But we are fair about it. Child is rude, dismissive of me and her father. Court order says joint custody. Once a week and two weekends a month, plus every other holiday and every other week of summer. Mom never follows it. Judge does nothing but waste our money. Cops won’t enforce it either. Child is headed down wrong path. She even tried to make her dad miss little brother’s birthday party bc mom is team manager and decided not to inform us of calander change til the night before. Even though both knew we planned party around the schedule we could find. And to make sure she could be there. Every holiday and family activity is planned around this child. We have 4 total. After 35k in legal fees how do we keep fighting when courts won’t enforce, and everyone acts like mom does no wrong?! When child continues to push away and only acknowledges us if she wants something material from us?! Other kids are angry and resentful. They see how she acts. They are hurt and don’t understand how she could be like this.. Help please…

  30. Empath
    August 25, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    I recommend the books by Amy J. L. Baker eg. ‘Co-parenting with a toxic ex: what to do when your ex-spouse tries to turn the kids against you’. Also, ‘Surviving parental alienation a journey of hope and healing’. She knows her stuff regarding parental alienation.

  31. Kerry
    October 24, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    I haven’t seen my daughter other than 2 times in the past year. She refuses to see me and is now disrespectful and her dad allows it, is passive and I believe encourages it of course. She is 15. Her sister is 14 and goes about the regular 50/50 even when she doesn’t want to go to her dads. It’s just the rule. I feel like the divorce decree is a joke because he has not been made to follow it. Meanwhile, I am losing myself in despair and eventually financially too.

    • John Martin
      October 25, 2016 at 12:38 AM

      Do not despair sweet Kerry! It is never too late. There is always hope. I had the world’s most awesome wife for 25 years. She is a nurse who y turned 50 got hooked into a drug using party crowd and left me foe a 29 year old guy, took my 3 adult daughters and has them 100% alienated from me. Have not spoke to me in a year and 5 months. I have not given up. Do not give up! Give them love. Read Dr Warshak’s Divorce Poison. You will find yourself in that book somewhere. It is the best. It gives you a plan of action for every situation. Mine is the absolute worst of the worst. I have faith in God, that is my strength. I want you to think about this. Faith in God only grows when you know less and less about what is happening. Read Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. It will change your life. You want answers, and you are not going to get them. You have to let go, and hang on at the same time. LOVE LOVE LOVE, LOVE wins in the end. Never stop forgiving every day. Never stop Loving them every day. Tell them when they are being disrespectful, and that you taught them not to do that. Don’t be afraid. Turn it over to the big guy. Pray every day. Understand less and less, and yet be comforted by your mind not accepting responsibility for what happens. You cannot control it, but God has you covered. That’s the letting go part. Then apply yourself to winning them over with Love and truth. Truth always comes out. Turds get uncovered, and God pays the ass–les back! You c don’t know when, but rest assured it is coming. Only through letting go and letting God, and completely intelligent and wise actions can you stay in there, Get Warshak’s book now. Get a CD copy of Saving Pluto. Get your kids to watch it if you can. You are not alone. I am here if you need someone johnanthonymartin59@gmail.com

  32. Trish
    February 8, 2017 at 7:32 PM

    I have been divorced for over a year now. My only child a teenage son went to live with his dad. Although I understood the reason, they are very active in cycling together I was sad. When his dad first moved out our son lived with me. The summer leading up to the divorce our son said he was going to stay with dad “a bit more because they were working together”. He never came home again. By the time we went to court in the fall he said he wanted to live with dad and told a family court officer “he had no recollection of ever having any kind of a good time with me.” It cut like a knife because it absolutely was not true. His father started an affair and moved out for a few months during my pregnancy. His father went off to a bike event overnight the first night our son came home from the hospital. His father moved out on Christmas Day when he was 8 years old to go live with another woman he was having another affair with after seriously draining us financially. When our son was 12 his father left home when I found out he was yet again involved with another woman. At this point I told myself I needed to be strong and not let him come back home ( and yes he tried) because I needed my son to see that this was not appropriate behavior for a man. Today I find myself completely alienated from my son. He refuses to have anything to do with me or any member of my family. He believes his father is perfect and I am the most horrible person on earth. Someone ” he wouldn’t was 45 minutes on getting together”. He clearly has been brainwashed. My heart is broken not only not to have my only child in my life, but also to know he is being emotionally damaged and this ridiculous cycle may continue into his adult life and relationships. I have a total understanding of PAS. I need help, guidance and advice on how to handle all of this.

    • tdurkin44
      February 11, 2017 at 1:56 AM

      Please check out Ryan Thomas and our reunite support group. My son is over 18 now and we have so much distance that I can barely contact him but at 15 when he left home, Ryan thomas’ insight and advice might have made the difference. I’m so sorry this id happening to you and your so . It’s a nightmare

    • Toni
      February 11, 2017 at 8:57 AM

      So sorry to read the price so many pay for angering our ex’s by not taking them back. Classic. In your situation, I wonder if you can write your son letters recounting all the special times you remember with him (that he apparently isn’t in touch with right now)? Not long letters, just one at a time about a couple things here and there you were thinking about and wanted to share the memory for the fun of nostalgia. Nothing heavy in the letters, just BE the sweet mom you always were and he may start making those mental connections again. Just a thought. Best to you.

  33. David
    April 4, 2017 at 6:47 PM

    I’ve searched high and low for answers. What I continue to learn is there is very little insight on this issue when it is about the father. Every google search turns up examples and similar content based on the mother being a victim. Whether it be of divorce, parental alienation, custody battles etc. It has gotten to the point for me that I feel this shouldn’t even be an issue for men and fathers. Like the many men and fathers that suffer greatly, unfortunately society doesn’t acknowledge this. It’s always the fault of the father. This is beat into our heads long before divorce with threats of what will happen and the tactics the wife will use once a divorce is stated. And then it is unbelievably accurate once we get into court and the years and years of hard work and love and dedication is not even a factor and is all but always ends with the fathers losing their money, homes, and even worse their children. After the man loses everything he got up and went to work for for several years, day in and day out, year after year, with a stroke of a pen no less from a corrupt family court system, he then sees his children turned against him, alienated from himself and his family as if they were strangers the last 16 years of their lives. One day you’re rushing out of work on a Saturday to drive out of town to catch your daughters cheer competitions, and the next you’re completely disregarded along with the stance that their life has never been better since your departure. Yet, it’s the mother who is continually looked at as the victim. I’m 35 years old and have never been a worse state in my entire life. My children were the reason I saw purpose in my life. Why I decided at 19 I was going to claw and scratch my way to a successful life for me and more importantly, them. All while watching the mother sit back and be at the very best, an underachieving lazy family front as society demands. The mother is at every game, dr. appointment, school conference, etc because the fathers are out in the world working hard to make that a possibility. When the divorce happens, they claim we kept them out of the loop, off the road to success. This is an excuse that works all too well. The truth is they’re lazy and when the man finally says enough is enough and walks out, we were the problem all along and then the children who love their mother very much as they should simply follow suit. What a sad situation that is happening all over the world. Blatant disrespect from children to their father that is not only condoned but encouraged by the very adults in their life (mother& herside of family and friends) that is supposed to be honest and truthful and to best prepare these children for a world where blaming others for all your mistakes is not a reality. Except in family court. Moral of my comment is to try to understand why their is so little help for the men out here who deal with the pain and loss and rejection from the very people that they worked so hard for and loved and continue to love only to be all but forgotten and shunned out of their lives like we were never there to begin with. If only society would wake up and saw the damage taking hard working dedicated fathers out of their children’s lives does to entire familys for a long long time, will one day hopefully change the discussion and stop this process of divorced family’s and the next generation then divorces, and so on and so on. What a shame.

    • Kass
      April 6, 2017 at 4:50 PM

      I find your comments demeaning. Maybe that is your situation but your comments are generalizations towards all women. On my case, nothing is further from the truth. I am not lazy. I am hardworking, where my children’s father owns his own business so he has the flexibility that I do not have at my job. Nevertheless I am the one doing 100% for my kids while he sits back and only cares about his new family.
      Even though I am a good parent, my daughter’s father is able to buy her affections with money and gifts, while I struggle financially to get by.
      Be careful making assumptions and generalizations because every situation is different.

  34. July 19, 2017 at 4:49 PM

    I performed an internet search regarding this subject to educate myself and have been so encouraged after reading about many similar situations to my own and the comments of support and outcomes. My son, now 17 and daughter, now 13 moved to live with their father and step-mother 3 yrs and 1 yr ago respectively. Prior to that, both children lived with me from the ages of 5 and 1 1/2yrs old. I am a devoted mother who loved and supported my children in all activities and events, I took them personally anywhere they needed to go, we had dance parties, were held personally accountable to each other and to treat each other and others with kindness and love. What I am saying here is that we had a very happy and loving home. Their father remarried quickly after our divorce and together the two of them began to manipulate the children to see their farm life and family as superior to others, especially my life which was not as ideal as they determined. I held off when my son said he wanted to move to his dad’s as I knew once that happened, I would begin to lose my relationship with, and authority over him. One day, my son came to be at the age of 12 and said he was going to his dad’s and not coming home after that. Broke my heart! My daughter followed suit when she reached 12. Because I didn’t want things to be ugly and bitter for my children, and frankly because I didn’t have the financial resources (which they knew), I couldn’t fight it in court and would never involve the police. I have a signed agreement that still shows the children’s primary residence is with me, their father never took proper legal steps to change things (likely because he knew he may lose that battle). This bring us to now. Even though both my children have hurt me tremendously with their sudden move, ignoring me when I go to watch their sports but will always go to their father and step-mother – even on my time with them, not see me outside of any time their other parents have stated is ‘the way it is’, I still show up, I smile, I encourage and support them. Hearing your stories has opened my eyes that although my situation is hurtful and I feel helpless to do anything to stop what may eventually turn out to be me not seeing my children anymore at all and knowing them as they grow up, things could be worse. At this point, they still come every other weekend to see me (even though their other parents communicate with them still during their time with me). It tells me that although the other parents are working hard to turn them, I hope I shaped their lives enough in their developmental years to be kind to others. They are struggling and it kills me to see it, but I will do what has been suggested here and just love on them and work VERY hard not to let my anger towards their other parents for what they’ve done to my relationship with my children come through to my children. None of this is their fault. They are victims and to be honest, after seeing how the other parents treat them, I’d be afraid to cross them too! I’ll pray that God will use our situation for our own growth and life journey, or to help someone else as we get through this hard stage of our lives.

  1. November 25, 2016 at 9:00 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s