Tip for alienated parents: Find the joys that you can

[Transcript:]

Find the joys that you can. Because this takes years in most cases to recover from a severe alienated state from your son or daughter or children; you can’t be fixated on the alienation and let the poison that’s being dripped over your kid or kids and yourself infect and drown out and poison all the other areas of your life.

There are six specific things I really want you to concentrate on because you can’t let they alienator win, so to speak, by allowing this to make you depressed or to crowd out all the other good things in your life.

Here are the six: friends, family, job, hobbies, religion, and passions, and obviously, not in that order.

Go for each one of those and write out a list of what you have that’s joyous in your life, what you have that’s amazing, that makes you really happy, and you’re going to have lots of things in all of these. If you feel like you’re short, especially on passions, start something new. Be creative. Say ‘you know what, I’m going to use this time of alienation to do something I normally would never do.’ It’s taking a negative thing and creating something positive out of that. That’s going to be another video I’ll be doing.

Start a new hobby, start something new. Do something that you could look back one day and go, ‘you know what, without the alienation I would have never learned Italian, with the alienation I would have never reconnected with Joey in New York.’ Find one thing or many that you can start now so that there’s some seeds that you’ve planted even though you’ve planted these seeds in some rotten, disgusting, ugly soil, can’t think of a better word. What you’re essentially doing here is compartmentalizing in a healthy respect.

We all have pains in our life, but instead of taking those pain compartments and blowing them up and making them bigger, especially making them bigger than they actually are, it’s taking those pain compartments and shrinking them down. If you’ve heard of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), that’s exactly what it talks about, it’s almost like you have these balloons up here and shrinking in your head that represent the different areas of your life and taking the painful balloons, in this case the alienation of your son Johnny, and shrinking it down and blowing those other ones bigger.

You blow up the family one in your head to where you’re actually looking at a balloon and go, “Hey, I’ve got all these good, positive balloons in my head,” and taking the alienation one, instead of making it bigger and crowding everything out, you’re actually making it smaller and shrinking it down to size, it really works. It’s what helped me immensely during those years. I don’t know how I would’ve stayed sane otherwise because sometimes I just thought about him all the time.

Try to do that, I know it’s easier said than done, especially early on, but really try that. I hope these six can help you!

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!
  • Alien

    Well John,
    This is all well and good. While I do agree with your general ideas about the dangers of this sort of behavior, can you go a bit further? What about those of us parents, like myself, who came across your information quite by accident. I was feeling depressed. Yes I do take anti-depressants. (strike 1) I have been having trouble connecting with my adult children. (strike 2) I was, emphasis on was, feeling disrespected by my son who is keeping secret the time he spends with his mother. (strike 3, I am out) Now I feel scared worse than ever.
    I found your information on this syndrome, and I fit in with way too many of the symptoms of the alienating parent. Now I feel like an alien myself. So therefore my issue. You have broken down the behaviors and effects that the parent alienating does, but how about a bright side here. Now that I see what I might have done, any advice on how to reverse the behaviors within myself. I truly want to correct this for my children. I feel so psychoanalyzed right now. I am not this evil, crazed, destructive, person you describe. I am a caring and loving person who is genuinely concerned about this irreversible damage I have done.
    You did a wonderful job of creating this worry in my soul, now how can we adjust to bring the train back on the tracks? Or is it just too late?

    Alien

  • Alec Theora

    To Alien, I say this. Thank God you’re being treated for the psychological problems. In your post you use the word “I” about 10 times more than “He” referring to your son or to your ex. For one, please try to see the situation from your son’s eyes. He has two parents he wants to love them both. He has a full family, half of which is in his father’s family. You may not look at them as your family, but your son does. He (and all the children) wants to love them and cherish them and he NEEDS to do that too, to have a healthy life. You need to find a way to cope with your need for revenge or need to hate, or to find a form of justice for perceived or real grievances, that does NOT involve your children at all, not AT ALL. You need to keep your “suffering” that you can manipulate as your ex’s fault, even if you may feel it’s justified, or even if it actually is, out from the ears and sight of your child. It’s not about you, it’s about your child. Parents sacrifice all the time for their children’s well being, and in many ways. Look at it that way. You may also learn, even through religion or through analysis, that to forgive someone and openly show it, is not only good for them and all concerned, like your son, but imminently better for your own well being. The changes you need to make are on a personal growth level. Anger and vengeance are as bad for you as they are for the target of those destructive emotions in the log run. Stop worrying about how you’re going to “connect” with your adult children again, which seems to be the focus of why you want to redeem this situation. Start looking at yourself and working on being a more compassionate and caring person for others. If you truly make progress in this, you will see others recognize it, and your connection will be stronger. If you fake it, it will become apparent as such and do more harm than good. The boomerang effect is getting to you now, for the damage you’ve done. If avoiding that is your only goal, you’re still in trouble.