You don’t have to be a narcissist to be be guilty of parent alienation, you just have to be a bad parent. So many times parents in their bitterness feel it is necessary to “get the kids on their side”. Or they talk to their children like they are friends or their therapist. Why they do this, I don’t know; looking for sympathy? A need to vent? To make the other parent look bad? Bitterness? I suppose they think they have a good reason but very rarely is it a good idea or does it end well for the parent doing the trash talking. It usually bites them in the ass.
The children get so sick of hearing all this shit about the other parent they start to look at the complaining parent more critically.
And for those of you who think a child needs to know the truth, unless their lives are in danger; you are wrong. A child will grow up and find out for themselves what the other parent is about. They don’t need you stirring the pot and it makes you look like the bitter ex out for revenge.
It is far more to your advantage to focus on being the best parent you can be and not even mention the other parent except in passing. Ie: “your dad is picking you up tomorrow.”
NOT: “your SOB father is supposed to pick you up tomorrow, but hell probably be a no show, AGAIN!”
If the other parent is a bad parent your children will figure it out all on their own. Your responsibility is to be a healthy reliable and supportive parent who shows up with a smile.
It doesn’t mean lying to cover for the bad parent/narcissist in order to protect the child. It means handling each situation as it comes with honesty and compassion. For example: “I understand you are feeling hurt because daddy didn’t show up for sports day. I am sorry your dad disappointed you.”
If your ex immediately finds his “true love” after you break up, (a classic narcissist move) and your children come home and tell you all about the fun they had with daddy and the new woman; the absolutely worst thing you can do is go on a tirade about what a bastard he is and the new woman is a stupid bitch. To say anything negative at all is going to only reinforce what your ex is saying – that you are a bitter, psycho bitch.
Your ex knows the kids are going to come home and expound on how much fun they had, he is abusing you by proxy and you can not react and give him the reward he wants.
Just keep in mind that the longer he can get a reaction out of you the longer he is able to keep the act going with the new woman. Give him the rope and let him hang himself, he will do it on his own. Trust that history repeats itself and he is not capable of true lasting change.
Normal healthy people get divorced, and normal loving people can turn ugly when dealing with an ex. Both parents have to keep reminding themselves that the only innocent victims are the children. They had no choice in parents, they have no choice about the divorce, they have no control, and their lives are turned upside down. It is up to the parents to put their ego aside, their needs and wants and focus on what is truly best for the children.
Let’s raise healthy children and not play silly games.
Just my thoughts for today, as we enter the final week of domestic abuse awareness month.