A feeling of alienation always happens during and after the divorce, especially with older kids. It is important that as the father, try to prevent alienation from happening. You recognize the signs, and help cure the problem when it’s already rooted.
Accountability And Choice
How often to we hear kids tell their parents that they were never ask, or that they were never given a choice. Alienation begins when parents exclude kids because they think their children won’t understand. It is true however that some things are better kept between yourselves as a couple or ex couple, but you have to learn to segregate. Identify which ones should be out in the open, although always keep intimate details between your self and your ex.
Giving your kids the opportunity to offer input when it comes to the visitation schedule lends them a sense of empowerment. They feel needed. It is quite unfortunate that the parent who does not have primary custody gets bad press especially with the kids. When the kids are able to act as part of the family they feel like they still have value in your life.
Acknowledge that your children may not be as immature as your think. Despite being kids they have a sense of ownership. Let them decide about anything regarding their belongings.
Mom VS. Dad
Alienation commonly arises when both the exes blame each and the other for everything that goes wrong with their lives; from the financial to the personal and even as immaterial as say the death of a pet.
When this would happen, the children become a tool to try and hurt each other. As the father you have to spot this sign and modify yourself immediately. Always be level headed and reasonable. If your ex does not want to be flexible or finds an excuse to keep your kid away from you then try and talk things calmly with your ex wife.
Asking your kids to choose between the two of you is the cardinal sin of divorce. Doing so causes an insurmountable amount of distress on the child’s part. This kind of trauma will be brought up till the end of her or his lifetime.
Children are also very wise. They could use the divorce as an opportunity to get what they want. Don’t fall into this kind of trap. Do not try to and buy their love and loyalty with goodies, gifts and permission to do things. Instead earn their respect by instilling proper disciplinary methods.
Your way of setting things straight may be used against you, so watch out. If your kids calmly tell you that they don’t really remember one time when you were there as a father, then suspect that things have been said against you. Prove it wrong and then soon your children will see the truth.
Be Wary, Watch Out For Signs
As a divorced dad it is your right and responsibility to safeguard your relationship with your children. Spot the symptoms of alienation. Here are a few: A possible adoption or change of name, special signs and secret signals, kids anger towards demeaned parent for no apparent reason, interrupted visitation rights, making unreasonable demands, over protective ex for no apparent reason. Watch out! You yourself might also be causing the gap, at no time should you make promises you cannot keep.