3 Signs Your Child is Being Turned Against You

By: Ryan Thomas, Child of Parental Alienation

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If you are getting the feeling that your child is being turned against you, you may not be paranoid, playing victim or over reacting…you could be dealing with parental alienation.

The change could feel sudden, like the rug is being pulled out from under you without any warning. Or maybe it’s been a slow building process where your child becomes more disconnected from you with every passing day. As a parent you have a sixth sense that there is someone driving this force against you, turning your loving child into an apathetic, even angry child who doesn’t want to see or talk to you.

Parental Alienation is stealth manipulation of your child to reject you, while empowering the child to believe that they are in control and justified in their decision to cut you out of their life. As a child of parental alienation, I was turned against my dad for decades, which ultimately lead severing all ties for more than 10 years. Eventually, in my mid 20’s I discovered the lies and manipulation that had poisoned my mind against my dad and we reunited…our story is unique.

You’ll know you are in an alienation situation when the world seems completely backwards, everything that is good is cast as evil, and everything bad is suddenly the norm while trying to have a relationship with your child. Based on my experiences, here are 3 signs your child is being turned against you:


#1. Your involvement in your child’s life is now seen as “disruptive” and “stressful.”

Now, when you show up to a school or sporting event your presence seems to be unwarranted, even audacious to the alienator. Often a verbal altercation takes place as the alienator tells you that you have no right to be there or you are “unnecessary” in the child’s life. Behind-the-scenes, your child is experiencing anxiety as they witness this argument. The alienator uses this exchange to begin the narrative that bad things happen whenever you show up. As this process repeats, your child is being conditioned to associate you with stress. The alienator’s solution: if you want the stress to go away, tell the parent to go away.


#2. Suddenly, it’s OK if your child doesn’t want to see you.

Despite court ordered visitation or a history of great experiences, your child is now empowered that it’s OK if they don’t want to go with you. It’s as if new rules were written and your right to see your child is irrelevant. The alienator will provide total support of the child’s “choice” not to see you, and use this against you saying “it’s their decision to not go with you and you need to respect it.” Suddenly, you are the bad person for trying to “force” the child to spend time with you against their will. Unfortunately, the more saddened and frustrated you are by this, your attempts to maintain the relationship only seems to push you further away and diminish your role as parent.


#3. Your child repeats the same script over and over as they reject you.

Whenever you try to talk with your child, reason with them, and express your love you are continually rejected. It is as if nothing you say is being heard, and they continue to recite the same scripted message over and over. You also recognize that these words sound very similar to your ex, and they are because the child is being told what to say. See, the child is in such an emotional state that the alienator uses this to feed them lines that the child will believe are theirs, because the words promise to make the stress and anxiety go away…which is all the kid cares about.

Your child believes this is about their survival, avoid pain at all costs. So, stick to the script over and over until it stops.

Parental alienation is extremely stealth. The compound effect of just these three elements is extremely destructive to the relationship. Yet, it is hard to point to any one of these tactics as parental alienation or to be recognized as such. The sad part is that these are just 3 of dozens of tactics that are ruining your relationship. With parental alienation, we are fighting the intangible.

If any of these 3 signs resonate with you, rest assured you are not over reacting and you are not alone. You may be the victim of parental alienation, which is extremely powerful. Luckily, after years of “brainwashing” I was able to see the lies and manipulation and re-build a relationship with my Dad and truly get to know him. I am thankful for my series of light bulb moments every day.

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