best ways to combat parental alienation?

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findjoy81

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best ways to combat parental alienation?
« on: July 07, 2017, 01:41:44 PM »
I'm concerned that my exNH is working a parental alienation campaign against me/my new H.

Signs:
'daddy says his house is better than mommy's house' (repeat ad nauseam)
'daddy's house has cooler stuff that at mommy's house'
'in the car, daddy asks who do you love more, and when we say daddy we all go yaaaay!'
'H wouldn't hold (shake) daddy's hand, that means H is a dumbass' (from a 4 year old)
6 year old is cold with me first day or 2 back -no hugs or affection until later.
anything we buy that the kids like, ex buys one within a few days.
children calling me by my first name after returning from dad's house.

So far, I just say things like "I love you ALL the time" listing times I love them - like when I'm sleeping, when they are at school, when they are at daddy's, even when I get mad at something that they do I still love them.  I also say you can love daddy and mommy the same, you never have to choose.  I say these things on repeat. 

I don't know what else to do.
So my questions are - is this parental alienation starting?  how can I fight it?  any other advice?


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Stepping lightly

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Re: best ways to combat parental alienation?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2017, 02:17:11 PM »
Hi FIndjoy,

Sorry to say, that is blatant PA, he's not even trying to hide it!  We deal with really bad PA as well, and have been fighting it for years.  Take a  look back at some of my posts, the members here have always had great feedback.

My SKs give the cold shoulder at times too.  Just give them space to warm up on their own....don't change your behaviors, but just don't rush them.  Be conscious of the activities immediately after custody exchange- for awhile we were doing movie night so they could just chill out and there was no "social requirement", but we were all still together.  Having this as a routine can also give them something calm and enjoyable to look forward to when they come back.

I think you are doing the right things.  One of the things we really put on repeat is being kind to each other.  So, when your 4 year old says your H is a dumbass, we would say "That is not a kind thing to say, we don't say hurtful things like that in our home".  My Sks are 10 and 11, and this is a constant mantra from DH and I- there are a lot of PD phrases that the kids pick up at their Mom's that they don't even realize are so nasty.  A recent one they say when someone is speaking, they say in a nasty tone "are you done yet?" Usually to each other, but a handful of times to DH and I.  I've actually added words and phrases to the "swear jar" list in the past, because they become habit and they don't realize they are saying it.

Definitely reinforce that they don't have to choose a parent to love- they have unlimited love in their heart and they are allowed to love both parents as much as they possibly can. 

Honestly, with PA it is just an uphill battle that won't stop....it's exhausting, I will not lie to you.  Document what the kids are saying to you in a log somewhere.  You will be insulted and degraded to your face by your own children, and all you will be able to do is keep a straight face and carry on.  Don't fall for the bait and get angry- THAT will undermine you tremendously.

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Skippyd

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Re: best ways to combat parental alienation?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2017, 11:30:05 PM »
Definitely reinforce that they don't have to choose a parent to love- they have unlimited love in their heart and they are allowed to love both parents as much as they possibly can. 

Honestly, with PA it is just an uphill battle that won't stop....it's exhausting, I will not lie to you.  Document what the kids are saying to you in a log somewhere.  You will be insulted and degraded to your face by your own children, and all you will be able to do is keep a straight face and carry on.  Don't fall for the bait and get angry- THAT will undermine you tremendously.

It breaks my heart to hear about families going through this.  I went through it as a child during a custody dispute and this probably clouds my view.   My own children went through it with my uBPDexw.  As you know, you get put in an incredibly tough spot. 

I don't think there's really an answer for how to address it.  I think a lot depends upon the age of the children, their emotional state, and the alienation that is being committed.  I honestly believe that many times, addressing it could cause more harm and trauma to the child then holding back and just expressing unconditional and endless love (again, there are a lot of factors that come into play).  In my situation, even addressing it strictly through lawyers and courts just led to new and more twisted mind games.  Not to overly stereotype, but PDs are shrewd and manipulative by definition.   They lie and fight dirty.  They are often times devoid of conscience.  They know how to mess with people's heads, especially young and nave ones.  They know what you can contest and what you can do anything about.  I think serious thought has to be given to the possibility of escalating things by confronting their alienation.  Ask yourself what are the chances  that there will be an immediate and enduring net benefit for the children.