How Can I Stop My Ex from Turning My Child Against Me


How to Determine if Your Ex-Spouse is Attempting to Turn Your Child Against You

This is a question I receive all the time.  Parental Alienation is a frustrating situation. It happens so quickly. One day, you and your child are getting along as wonderfully as you always have.  Then it seems like overnight they reject you, fear you, and want nothing to do with you.  You scan the previous days, weeks, and months for a clue as to what happened.  Did you say something that offended them?  Did you do something that caused them to no longer want to see you?  Was there a situation that has led them to fear you?  With each question, you come up dry.  So, what is going on?

The term Parental Alienation was first defined by Dr. Richard Gardner in his 1985 article, Recent Trends in Divorce and Custody Litigation.  Dr. Gardner had a long-time history of working with child custody cases.  While very basic in his early assessment, he observed children denigrating one parent while aligning themselves with another one.  His study led him to further observe eight characteristics or symptoms that appear in a consistent manner.  Since his study, clinicians have used those characteristics as benchmarks for alienation.

If you are involved in a high conflict divorce or your spouse has become contentious, post-divorce, you could be experiencing parental alienation.  It’s difficult to believe that your spouse or ex-spouse would try to turn, or has already turned, your child, or children against you.  It is an unfathomable thing to do but, as a Certified Divorce Coach who specializes in Parental Alienation, I see this happen with frequency.

What Can You Do About Parental Alienation?

Parental Alienation is a complex situation; one that does not have a quick fix. That is because your ex-spouse is vehemently entrenched in keeping your child from you and will do whatever it takes to do so AND at the expense of your child. Please keep in mind that Parental Alienation is not a mistake. It does not “just happen.” Parental Alienation is a calculated attempt to destroy the relationship between you and your child.

It would be a disservice to you if I gave you a platitude answer on how to confront parental alienation: a quick answer and sent you on your way.  The reason is that your situation is unique and there are so many factors to consider such as the age of your child, how long the alienation has been going on, do you have any contact with your child and if you have had any legal intervention regarding parental alienation.

To help you and others like you, going through this nightmare, I have developed a program that includes five-audio/video modules with all the information you need to help you circumvent Parental Alienation.  Aside from the modules, you have access to a private moderated Facebook group that I visit daily with comments and suggestions, a weekly live Facebook Q&A held on Mondays at 7 PM United States Eastern Time, resources to help you locate attorneys, therapists who specialize in parental alienation and a comprehensive list of publications on parental alienation written by experts as well as targeted parents.

I Understand Because I, Too, Was a Targeted Parent

You are probably exhausted, frustrated, and downright scared.  I know firsthand how it feels to be helpless as your beloved child rejects you and you have no idea why.  I am the first person to tell you that you did not do anything wrong.  There is a force that is working against you and you need the tools to fight back.  During my course, I will explain why people alienate their children and how you take the steps to diffuse it.  No one can change the alienator’s behavior but, I can give you the arsenal to fight this war and it is a war!  A war waged against you and the child is the weapon.

Sign up now for my program. Don’t allow Parental Alienation to destroy you, your child, and your family.  If you are on-the-fence whether this Pass on Parental Alienation course can help you, sign up for a free 20-minute chat with me to discuss your particular situation.  I look forward to meeting you to discuss the ways you can create your own force against Parental Alienation.

Your friend in combating Parental Alienation.

Susan Shofer Divorce Consultant

Parental Alienation Is Complex.  I’ve Been There.

As someone who has defied Parental Alienation, I know that there is a lot to understand and consider if you’re fighting it.  Along with my Pass on Parental Alienation program, as a Parental Alienation Specialist, I provide telephone coaching sessions.

If you are in the throes of Parental Alienation and feel like giving up, check out this post to get a little insight.  To view my other posts on Parental Alienation, click here.

Have you seen my TEDx.

Discover Why Parental Alienation Has Nothing to Do With You

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  1. Wondering if I can get any kind of help. My ex-husband left me, 6 years ago (redacted for privacy)…
    Thanks for listening, Jennifer

    1. Thanks for your question, Jennifer. We have reached out to you personally.

    2. My sons live with me and visit my ex wife every other weekend. I know she takes them to do alot of things that I can’t because I pay for all the care as I didn’t ask for child support. Do you have any suggestions to help the alienation that is going on.

  2. Wish I had heard about you years ago. For me nothing can be done about my relationship with my two daughters. I haven’t been able to speak or see them for years now. As they just stopped any communication with me for no reason what so ever. My hope is at least someone out there will find you and you will prevent what happened to me from happening to them. It is horrible not being able to see or be a part of your children’s life’s. I’m was a very good father to my girls at one time. I love them very much and miss them every day.

  3. […] Susan Shofer is passionate about helping those dealing with parental alienation, an issue many divorcees experience. She has set up a free webinar for those looking for guidance […]

  4. My wife is going through a high conflict modification and her kids have been turned. I don’t even recognize them on the phone, they are cold, secretive, and mean to her. My step daughter fits every description above, she is making up lies about her mother, being disrespectful(and seems to feel justified in her disrespect), speaking and saying things way above her understanding, saying she has “been realizing more lately” and “has been asking questions and getting answers from her dad”.

    Dad is a text book narcissist, and has been calling CPS with bogus claims to try to make my wife look bad. We need help, these children are being mentally abused and it doesn’t seem like we can stop it.

  5. My husband and his ex wife do not get along, she is very manipulative and immature. However, they had a daughter. My husband and his daughter were inseparable, he raised her and took parental leave. She lived with him for years while her mother was nowhere around. She took off because she started dating her student (they are married now) and left her daughter behind. Anyways, her mother came back around, they share custody now. We had to move a little further away due to a new job, so now his child visits every other weekend. Up until about a month and a half ago. She just stopped visiting, my husband would get excuses as to why his daughter doesn’t want to come and it all ended last night when he received a text from his ex wife saying “your daughter doesn’t want to visit, she will call you when she does” Which is TOTALLY out of the norm for her. She LOVES being her and her and her father have such a strong bond. The child is completely ignoring us and we have no idea why. What can be done? We need help

    1. It’s remarkable that unwittingly I ran from my NPD/Malignant type who was so jealous, threatened & incapable at a very young age I knew she was not like other mothers in the neighborhood. Meet & married my ex husband w whom I repeated the cycle for 25 years. It was only when my mother truly killed my beloved father that I knew it was do or die for me. After finally disentangling from thst marriage I came to see that my brother & one of my daughters are afflicted to boot. After becoming a psychologist I had knowledge but no power bc I had been in training from birth for the next narcissist to abuse me. At long last Ive found that when I’m rested with an established time limit around either one & that’s worked for years. No picking up every tab, mess & endless therapy or adoration. I’m done with them & the only one that’s even fully aware of that fact is me. They’ve long since found another object & devalued me enough that they’ve squared their loss. Me? I cannot allow myself to forget or be lulled into submission : bookended from birth to death with the Sz folks is enough – I’ll not let them kill me. Dramatic ? I think not.

  6. I googled “ex turning my daughter against me” and found your website. It all added up in a split second after reading and checking off every item on list. I have sacrificed everything, as every good parent does, to care for my daughter. It just sickens me. All the times I called on my off weekend, only to be told she doesn’t want to talk to me. I always made sure my daughter was primed to talk to her mum on my weekends, trying to make my girl feel whole, even though she was a child of separation. This and so many other things that have not made sense. But now they do. And now to pick up the pieces. Glad I found your website though. It has been a slow boil to being ‘mindf***’. At least I now get what’s happened. Thank you.

  7. I’ve just discovered that my ex cultivated parental alienation since our divorce in 1995. He is still manipulating our first-born daughter, and she will be 33. She fully estranged from me almost 2 years ago. His actions were exposed during lengthy and multiple conversations with our younger daughter, who is also estranged from her sister, and rarely interacts with her dad because of the script that he adheres to regarding me. I admit to being blind-sided, and never considered that he was the source of the alienation. Now, however, it makes perfect sense. My ex has always favored the eldest and never made that favoritism a secret. She was under his spell since age 7 and by age 9 had begun to exhibit symptoms of alienation. She parrots his script almost word for word, both in regard to me and to her sister. My youngest has lost a loving relationship with her sister, and I’ve lost my first daughter’s love. We’ve also been torn from my eldest daughter’s two children. No grandma, no aunt for them. It is as if we were both dead and buried. For the past two years and even earlier, I’d been blaming myself and wondering what horrific behavior of mine resulted in such a painful and agonizing fracture of our mother-daughter bond. Thank God that my youngest was willing to share her life-long observations. The more she shared, the more quickly all of the pieces of the puzzle came together. I’d been focused on the estrangement, when in fact it was parental alienation all along. The puzzle, completed, revealed the face of her father. So very sad. A tragic end for such a fragile family of four. <\3

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