Evidence from afar that your child is being brainwashed against you

When you’re the noncustodial parent, days and weeks go by without you being around your child or children. During this time the custodial parent– your ex– who’s hell-bent on sabotaging your relationship with your child has ample opportunity to do so.

There are some strong signs that appear in most brainwashing households. You can’t be there in person to observe all the things said, the lies told, or the subtle put-downs, so you will have to look elsewhere– to the telephone, cellphone, text messages, and emails.

The openness and normalcy of the electronic communications with your child is in most cases directly related to the level of mental abuse taking place in the other house. Evidence that your child is being coached and lied to include:

  • Your child is flat, monotoned, or sad when he or she gets your phone call
  • Your ex is often heard speaking to your child in the background (and your child will frequently cover up the phone with his or  her hand)
  • Your phone calls or texts are not returned
  • Cellphones you buy for your kid are rarely used to call you, but used routinely by your ex to contact your child when he or she is with you
  • No calls on your birthday or Father’s/Mother’s Day, and rarely or never a card or e-card
  • Your child asks you questions inappropriate for their age
  • Your child is used as a messenger by your ex
  • Your child complains about his or her last visit (usually of trivial things)
  • You rarely get a call, email, or text out of the blue from your child
  • Your child claims out of the blue that “I don’t want to see you”
  • Your child seems unable to echo any “I love you’s”
  • Your child echoes the words of your ex (words a child of that age would never use)
  • Your child refers to you by your first name, either to you directly or at home while away from you
  • Your ex refers to you when speaking to your child in the background by your first name
  • Your child will say “Why haven’t you called me” when in fact you’ve tried
  • You rarely get an acknowledgement of any cards of presents sent

How to fight this? The short answer is to call your child on a regular basis (once a week, twice a week, etc), and stick to it. Also send texts and emails, even super short ones, when you think of your child. If you’ve been unable to get through to speak to him or her, make sure you let them know that you’re excited to finally reach them. If you’ve left a voicemail, ask them “So did you get my voicemail?” That way, if they didn’t (as is likely), they’ll realize that you did reach out to connect with them. Older kids will even figure out on their own that a parent is withholding messages from them.

The big picture, of course, is to get the child into counseling. Even call Child Protective Services if your child’s emotionally wrecked. Make sure you document everything– to include tape recording phone calls (if legal in your state), logging all the times you’ve tried to reach your child, etc.

If your child custody decree doesn’t mention anything about telephonic or electronic access, then consider hiring an attorney who can make a “motion to modify” the decree. Some decrees include specific hours whereby your ex must make your child contactable. That way if your ex doesn’t comply, he or she could face the wrath of a judge.

It’s a very difficult thing to have to suffer through month after month after month, with the only let-off being when  you have possession of your child. But hang in there. Keep a steady flow of calls, emails, and texts to your brainwashed child. One day your child will see the “unhappy” parent for who she is, and your consistent actions at reaching out will be rewarded in 95% of cases.

 

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About John

John Thomas Steinbeck is a parental alienation consultant. He and his son's relationship was under attack in a deplorable campaign of parental alienation. In this blog, John shares his insights, techniques, and tools in combating emotional child abuse. He did it-- today his son's love has been restored-- and you can too!
  • Lee

    So my ex husband and his gf- but mostly his gf are manipulating my kids. They are the fun ones- because they don’t do anything directly related to parenting. Turns out that the gf was going to take my 11 year old to a function at her school- without wven telling me. Thankfully my child told me and when I informed her no worries mommy took time off we can go- she told me “oh so and so said they would take me” I replied that now she doesn’t have to because I was able to take the time from work. Something my ex husband never ever does. Well when my daughter informed so and so about me going she told my daughter ” ugh I knew this would happen I was waiting for this text why is this a big deal” my daughter replied with “idk” and the gf then said “doesn’t she work”? Why wouldn’t she be positive and say “oh that’s great your mom can take time off, I wish you dad could do that so easily too” but no instead she did that- then after I messaged the gf myself and told her she wasn’t needed because I had the time off she texted my daughter “your mom told me I can’t go” now why would an adult who cares about a child say that to a child unless it’s in the hopes of alienating and disparaging the relationship with mother and child?

  • Lee

    Oh and another kicker is they are trying to take custody from me and the motion is based on lies and I’ve got proof and the judge is allowing my kids to be interviewed which isn’t fair- but I’ve got truth on my side. They go there and have fun. They don’t go to be taken care of or nurtured. He even lied about my daughters medical past and I have the records to prove that too now. So I’ve got proof and the gf disparaging me to my own daughter- which thankfully my daughter never saw. I actually had her phone and texted gf myself from her phone and told her “this isn’t very nice of you”.