Top actions of an alienating parent

  • Doesn’t inform you of upcoming school activities (especially unexpected ones)parental alienation is child abuse
  • Expresses no enthusiasm for fun events you’re doing with the child (vacations, amusement parks, etc)
  • Limits child’s cellphone and computer usage, so you’ll rarely get a call, text, or email
  • Refers to you by your first name in their home (Dad becomes “David;” Mom becomes “Julie”)
  • Accomplishes a post-visitation shakedown, extracting as much info as possible to find negatives
  • Hands the phone directly to the child when you call, avoiding even civil conversations with you
  • Pops anti-depressant pills (as many have a history of depression)
  • Able to hold resentment towards young, innocent children (ie, your children from another marriage)
  • Never calls you when the child is sick or taken out of school
  • Teaches the child adult things to tell you, such as “I don’t feel comfortable about the duration of our summer visitation, Dad”
  • Teaches the child how to despise or hate another human being
  • Labels themselves the “good” parent; labels you the “bad” parent
  • Tells the child false stories about their childhood
  • Tells the child in vivid detail how he or she was victimized by you (while taking no blame at all for the divorce)
  • Teaches the child how to lie to you (coating their little hearts with false malice and scorn)
  • Diminishes your extended family’s worth
  • Neglects to have the child call you for your birthday, on New Year’s Eve, or other important dates
  • Refuses to help the child reach and call/email/mail cards on relatives’ birthdays on your side of the family tree
  • Uses child’s cellphone as a leash
  • Rarely if ever a call to you on Father’s Day or Mother’s Day on behalf of child
  • Never gets the child excited about seeing you
  • Reminds the child of all that he or she will be missing while with you and away from them
  • Inflicts his or her unhappiness onto the child (as alienators are deeply unhappy people)
  • Attempts via a lawyer to reduce visitation to that even below family court minimum standards
  • Takes the child out of state without a peep, while demands precise details whenever you travel with them
  • Monopolizes the child’s time for hours on the phone (if you let them)
  • Views any event in the child’s life– a distant Aunt’s birthday, a friend’s birthday, etc– as more important than their time with you
  • Teaches the children from their current marriage to despise you
  • Informs children of alienator’s plans for them past 18 (you’ll go to college at X, and will stay here with me)
  • Is jealous of anything fun and memorable you do with the child (as they view the good times as a threat)
  • Gripes about things you’re doing as a parent to the child, but says nothing to you about it
  • Has outbursts around the child (extremely dramatic ones)
  • Lacks a filter, spilling any adult topic into the child’s head

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!
  • Mitchell Bain

    I have been a victim of this for 15 yrs. and have tried everything to connect with my daughter. I have been out lawyered and out financed and I feel like giving up,only I love my child. Im so glad I found this site on the net. Mitchell

  • Kristi

    my husband and i got sole custody of his two children with his exwife because of her extreme emotional and physical abuse toward them and told the court that it was my husband now doing all the abusing and so many ppl believed her! we were able to expose her lies after a 3 yr ordeal but now our oldest daughter (my stepdaughter) is 9 now and is having extreme issues with seeing her mother who only now has one hour a month supervised visits. at times she says she hates her then other times she says she loves her and its tearing her apart. we r seeking a professionals help, should we push for no visitiation. those issues get to sticky!

  • Cassie

    Most people only one parent like this, I have 4 parents that act like the majority of the actions listed. I am not even 20 years old yet, and my parents have completely shut me out because I finally saw the game they were playing. Now I am not allowed to see any of my four siblings and I feel as if my family hates me. Parents who do this have serious mental issues, and this article has showed me how many other signs that I didn’t catch at first but that I can see now.

  • Maggie

    I worked as a Court Officer in NYS Family Court in NYC. I know that there are so many manipulative parents that sometimes “get over”. I saw judges many times either transfer custody or appoint a law guardian. You are speaking of the more subtle but VERY DAMAGING to the Non-custodial parent! I am remarried and my eldest 4 only hear good things about their Dad and that is because he is a Great Dad! My mother went to her early grave bitching about my dad who she has hated for over 30years! My current Mother in law does the same! My husband is 45 & can’t let her know that he “spoke” to his Dad! They all live in different states? No matter what you feel for your ex or his current girlfriend or wife as long as they keep your child safe and behave “normal” when the child visits, for your child’s mental health be kind! Great website!

  • Linda

    My Ex is an ex family lawyer that practice was I’m Ann Arbor Michigan.
    We have been divorced since 2005. And all this and more has been going on without fail for years. As of last summer, against all court orders, I no longer even see my children.
    “Divide and conquer” is his weapon of choice. My ex in the fall enrolled my kids into 2 separate school systems. (He didn’t even bother to waste his time to go to court to make it legal)
    The week he had them move out of the blue; he stopped Child support immediately. I finally had to give up the 3 bedroom home last December my kids and I lived at because I could longer afford.

    Finding this list of traits is the chronological history that I have collected mountains of Docs to pack up to any lawyer that would take my case. I’m at my end. I now haven’t seen my kids seen my kids since The beginning if this past March.

    Please, anyone…. Help our family.

  • Kris

    My ex has been doing this pretty much ever since we had our first child now that I look back on things. I have been somewhat ‘guilty’ myself over the years, though. I always try to be fair & just when I tell my children anything about another person, though. I have a duty to point out when someone else has told them things that are not true. Especially if they believe a lie to be the truth. The ex has gone to some pretty bad extremes, but hardly ever enough to ‘tip the scales’ so I could possibly gain primary custody of the children, or have legal action brought against her. She has denied my childrren talking to me numerous times over the past 4 years since our divorce on the phone. Either by not answering / returning calls, or just blatantly telling me I can’t talk to them. She has denied my visitation times with them, cut our visits short, etc. She resorted to some pretty major lies to try to keepp my children from me a couple of years ago… After one weekend when my youngest child was with me we stayed at my fiance’s ( now wife) house. We stayed up late watching movies & my 11 yr old son fell asleep on the living room floor, my fiance’s 10-11 year old daughter fell asleep in the living room recliner chair. We left them there sleeping for the night. My ex heard that we had left them sleeping in the living room together like this, so she proceeded to TOTALLY fabricate a LIE saying that my son ( also my ex’s son) was a ‘sleepwalker’ & he got up in the middle of the night & ‘innappriately touched’ my fiance’s daughter ! Needless to say, the ONLY people who could back up such a LIE would be the only 2 who were alledgedly involved. My fiance’s daughter said it never happened, BOTH children were in their same sleeping areas during the night when I woke up at around 3:30 am & checked on them once. BOTH children were completely clothed & covered throughout the entire sleeping time. BOTH children were pretty much in their same sleeping positions as when I saw them at 3:30 am. When we got up later that morniong around 7 am. My fiance’s daughter said that my son has NEVER touched her in an inappropriate manner, & she would have woke up if someone had. The only people who made the accusation were my ex, & my 15 year old daughter at that time. Neither of them were there at my fiance’s home that weekend at all. My son also denied any knowledge of sleepwalking , or touching anyone that night. ( I didn’t ask him if he touched my fiance’s daughter ‘inappropriately’, I just kept it generic). What a SICK MIND to create such a story, pressure a 14-15 year old child to ‘go along’ with it, & then actually say that it happened even when there was no one who would have, or even COULD HAVE, came up with such a LIE in the first place ! ‘Strangely’ enough, the alledged incident was NEVER brought up in mediations following that, other than the children need to have their own rooms, (which they DID & STILL DO ). She also tried to ‘imitate’ my fiance’s exhusband’s voice on the phone to me once. Totally INSISTED that she was him in a phone conversation. I was laughing at her during the conversation & called her by her name, but she still continued trying to act like she was him. She was HORRIBLY PATHETIC at it. I have heard his voice numerous times, not to mention she can’t disguise her voice worth a hoot, anyway. She is also an alcoholic. She goes to work pretty much every day she is supposed to, but she drinks at least 6 to 12 beers every day that she’s off, according to ALL 3 of my children ( ages 21, 17, & 13 now), & 2 nephews ( ages 19 & 20), who have witnessed it numerous times over the past few years. They said when she starts drinking she gets on the phone & starts talking loud about anything & everything that’s bothering her at the time, & also the past stuff to whoever will listen to her for awhile. When one person gets tired of hearing it, she calls somebody else & starts in again. She keeps this up until she passes out for the evening. She drove drunk with the kids in the vehicle on numerous occasions also, but never got arrested when they were with her. She had just dropped our youngest son off at her mother’s when she got arrested for OWI just a mile or 2 down the road. I was told by a few attornies that it STILL wouldn’t be likely for me to get full custody, since she didn’t actually get caught with him in the vehicle & no one saw her drinking while driving. My main weakness is that I don’t live in the same county & the kids would be further traumatized if they were taken out of their familiar schools & away from their familiar friends to live with me. The ex has ‘cooled down’ some, but once in a while she has a ‘flare up’ & tries to keep my son from me. ‘He’s 13 now & can decide for himself if he wants to see you”. Or ‘ I have custody, you have no say.’ ( I’m not the custodial parent, but I DO have all visitation rights.) It’s an ongoing battle, & I hope that I can move to the school district some time, &/or that I at least have OUR time together with my children without a bunch of UNNECESSARY hassle from their ‘mother’. The law needs to be stiffer & ENFORCABLE against these people. If you go against a Court Order, the police say ‘it’s a civil matter’ & it has to be ‘dealt with in court.’ I have been told now that if I take it to court, that most likely the judge will go along with what my 13 year old child wants in the matter, & I’ll most likely lose what time I have with him, except for when he wants to be with me. If he wants to hang out with friends instead, or play video games at his mom’s, then he’ll be free to do so as he wishes.If hanging out with me, or my side of the family, is ‘too boring’, then he won’t have to come. VERY SAD.

  • Tim Johnston

    Children never can be truly aware of the stress that Alienation has naturally incurred as they are developing into adults. As one parents brainwashes or controls the child through acts of extreme schedules or domination in order to show the courts the child has no real time to meet the out casted (alienated parent)

    In my case, My ex- says… my son Kai is busy all days and times of the week to meet me. we live less than a 2 kilometers away. Typical over education and using the system to make it look as the Mother or child is too busy.

    Children need Love and to know they’re loved more than to be controlled or brainwashed by a mother or a country that can overtake a young childs upbringing and deny them all those years of Joy and true love.

    The mother in Japan, knows the game that will make the mediation courts and all others think she is actually doing the best in the interest of the child, when in fact … She is playing the busy card and in Japan that means good……WRONG!!!!

    That means she is sly and the govt. is a Robot and the child is therefore neglected of knowing the parent that is alienated is truly trying to be a part of their lives

    (The parent that has access and lives with them programs them as to what to believe is the truth)

    Please, please!!
    Wake up Japan and realize children need to know they are loved and validate them by not imposing one sided views upon their poor and fragile minds therefore eliminating the brainwashing of a single parent.

    Tim Johnston Japan
    Father of:
    Kai Endo Japan

  • Melissa

    •Pops anti-depressant pills (as many have a history of depression)
    People don’t “pop” antidepressants. They are prescribed medication.

    That being said, my husband and I have suffered at the hand of his alienating ex-wife for nearly 3 years. She has 3 daughters from her first marriage-whom my husband legally adopted-who have had NOTHING to do with him for about 2 1/2 years. She has even managed to alienate his own family against him and me. She makes her son/my stepson refer to me as “the babysitter” in her presence.

    We will, of course, continue to take the high road, but we look forward to the day that all of her nastiness is revealed.

  • Sarah Zielinski

    I’d like to point out that parents can be alienating even if they aren’t divorced…

    My mother exhibits many of these qualities in relation to my dad, even though they’re still together. Specifically:

    -She doesn’t inform him of any family or school-related activities, until he learns about them from me or my siblings. Once he does, she claims she told him weeks ago.
    -No enthusiasm for fun events/vacations/holidays in general.
    -She completely avoids civil conversations with him via phone whenever one of my siblings or I are with her
    -She attempts to teach us to tell him that we dislike the way he acts/handles family responsibilities/supposedly “never does anything with us”
    -She tries very hard to alienate us from having friends at all: “despising or hating other human beings”
    -She certainly labels herself as the good parent and my dad as the bad parent
    -She never talks to her relatives, except for her father, and she tells the rest of the family (my dad included) how my dad’s side of the family is essentially full of “fat, lazy slobs”
    -I’ll reiterate that she tries as hard as she can to make us hate him
    -Certainly all of this serves to inflict unhappiness upon the entire family
    -Whenever my dad is not around, she cannot help but deny everything he has ever done as a parent, and never brings her opinions up to him personally
    -She’s narcissistic. Outbursts are common.
    -Again, narcissistic. A lack of a filter is characteristic.

    Most of these traits are exhibited whenever my dad is simply not around (at work, running errands, at home while the rest of the family is away, etc.), although she expresses some of them directly to his face. However, she is a classic example of an alienating parent that is still married to the person she is alienating.

  • mykidsmom

    I am proud of your strength to write this.
    I hope you can speak to a counselor. I am not one, but – you get it. And that is a great first step .
    Love yourself. Keep telling you this. Hopefully John or a licensed therapist can give you some direction via online to help you cope with the abuse.
    If you want my opinion as a Mom –
    I would say, you need to tell your Mom, in an adult fashion- that what she is doing is wrong and to please stop degrading your father like that.
    You are 50% of him and when she says things that are mean spirited like this, it also means she is speaking to you and your siblings.
    You have the right to LOVE BOTH PARENTS.
    Set up your own boundaries and let her know how important healthy communication, respect and love will only be tolerated. If she wishes to speak poorly of your dad, then you will have to remove yourself from the room, the situation.
    A friend of mine told me her mantra is ” You got This”. I use it everyday.
    Stay strong. Read about boundaries and healthy communication.
    and keep believing..
    🙂
    k

  • el

    Seriously I dont know people who are second wives and step moms and expects to be treated like a kid treats his own parents. You suffering from his alienating ex wife- is not at all important but yes the father meaning your current husband being alienated is a problem and big one.
    For whatever reason the ex wife has THE reason to be angry at you.
    All these problems are to be expected when you are marrying a man with kids. You should have thought of that before marrying him.

  • el

    Seriously parents I mean BIRTH parents are worried about kids feeling for them and vice versa and when those are big problems already the step whatever being feelings are not important. Legally yes but feeling wise nada.

  • el

    As long as this divorce system exists and this stupidest rule of all exists- that a child needs both parents in their lives no matter what- kids are going to suffer. Seriously in some cases need both parents is not the best case scenario- but the court refuses to see the whole picture, who did what in the history and makes this stupid rule. any bad parent need not be a drug addict, alcoholic, or physical abuser to be a bad parent, there are other reasons just as important which will make them a bad parent which the court does not care to see.
    The court system is only made for men not for women.
    The divorce system is only made for the benefit of the legal system not for the benefit of the family. Also dividing a family legally makes the country richer.

  • el

    To all the 2nd wives/husband, 3rd wives/husband, 4th and so on and so forth wives/husband to a person with kids. Stop marrying a person with kids because whatever reason you are marrying most of the times you are destroying a kids feeling. It is already bad enough that a kid’s parents get divorced and on top of that the step parent and the parent expects the kid to treat them with respect- what the hell.
    If everybody stop marrying a person with kids then definitely the parents will try to work it out for the kids sake and not get divorced and live happily peacefully.
    there are some countries where 2nd marriage and 3rd marriage and so on and so forth is looked down upon and for that reason people dont want to marry second time and in reality 50% of divorce leading cases are solved because of that reason.
    of these- divorce and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th so on and so forth marriage system- the ultimate sufferers are the kids.

  • Christopher Chorlton

    It is extremely concerning my ex has prob 98% of these actions, does anyone now what can b done If I feel my daughter is with my ex with all or most the above ?

  • minou nine

    I’m not sure if this is the best place for my comment, but here goes. It’s more of a personal history than a comment.

    I was married to my first husband for many years, he was the father of my daughter from whom I am now permanently estranged – my choice finally after many years of abuse by both of them. Her father used to get into narcissistic rages for no reason, he physically attacked me, and was abusive towards me on emotional, psychological and financial levels. He hated his mother because she was so controlling so I think he really hates all women, and I was his punchbag.

    Quite early on I was having problems with my daughter, she refused to let me cuddle her, she seemed as though she hated having me around. I battled with this situation for years, thinking that somehow I was at fault. It wasn’t until I got divorced that my mum told me that she had witnessed my ex telling out daughter that I was a bitch – the first instance of this happened when my daughter was almost two years old. I realised then – this was 12 years on – what I had been up against. An abusive husband wants to control and isolate the wife, so the child is used as a weapon against the mother.

    I carried on being the custodial parent until my daughter went to university, but I know that her father was still pulling the strings, and she became abusive towards me, physically hitting me on one occasion, upon which I told her to pack her suitcase and leave! She didn’t, but things calmed down for a while.

    When she qualified as a doctor she still found it difficult to be with me and she shows signs of being like her father. We reached an impasse when I discovered that she had lied to me again and I decided that continuing our relationship would make me ill. She was 26 years old and adult enough, in my view, to look at things intelligently and in perspective. Sadly that is not the case.

    I just thought that people should know that parental alienation can occur anytime, and not just during a divorce or custody battle. It’s a symptom of a controlling personality. Apart from sexual abuse of children, the deliberate poisoning of a child’s relationship with one of the primary care-givers is evil and unforgiveable.

    I cannot see a time when my relationship with my daughter will ever be healed. Not only has she been robbed of her mother’s love, any grandchildren will also be denied their link to a grandparent.

  • angelccorr

    I had joint custody with my ex-husband. He did most of what is on the list. My children are now grown, and the damage my ex caused in our children is very noticeable to this day. They have rejected him after maturing enough to realize what he did to them. My ex-husband is now 65 and has moved in a girl of 25 who is a felon and drug addict involved in the MS-13 gang. MS-13 is now threatening his life and he calls up his children to help him, after he previously dis-allowed them in his home. My daughter simply told my ex to call the police and hung up. Live by the sword, die by the sword. His sociopathic behavior is finally catching up with him. It will be a sad but just ending for him.

  • John Smith

    My X has done EVERYTHING and more stated above she also has my child tape record everthing that goes on in my home and then she (to have it fit her agenda) tried to cut and splice recording to turn into courts, Judge ultimately labeled her manipultative, controlling and retaliatory and held her in contempt but this has not slowed her down she will go to any and all lengths to alienate my child from me and sadly it seems to be working. She has recently kept my child from me for over 100 days and when I just went to get my child, my child refused to come with me as apparently I don’t want her. I am so devastated. I love my daughter and have and will go to the moon and back for her. I have financially indebited myself to the tune of over $40,000.00 just to see my child. I am beside myself with this.

  • John Smith

    I believe its a jealousy thing my wife goes thru the same thing my X has tried to do the same luckily it hasn’t worked with my family.

  • John Smith

    Its scary, my daughter has been so brainwashed everything I have ever done for her (her mother now says she did) and my daughter knows different but she believes everything her mother says, and like her mother my daughter has become an excellent liar. Gone are the days of the little girl I once knew.

  • John Smith

    Most people marry who they fall in love with. I did. My wife has 3 sons, they have all treated me with respect (don’t get me wrong we have had our go-arounds) I had a daughter from a previous marriage my X couldn’t stand the fact I remarried my daughter suffered due to her own mothers actions my wife bent over backwards to make my child feel loved my wife was so happy to have a little girl and my daughter loved my wife until her mother told her to choose between her mother and step-mom (what parent does that?) So now my daughter ignores us unless she wants something. We don’t love her any less. And I love my wife more for standing by me thru all this when any other woman would have run screaming into the night….

  • Bo Berezovsky

    Oh boy ! I feel like I just read the story of my life so far . A very accurate portrait of my ex .

  • Bo Berezovsky

    I am in a similar situation (no as bad as tape recording) but certainly everything (yes, everything) listed in the above written article .
    Keep fighting for your girl . She needs you . 40k is a small price to save her from being an unhappy person in the future .

  • PrissyPatriot®

    Spoken like an alienating parent…

  • Sean Turntine

    My ex wife is currently doing all these things. The only difference is that she pops Vicodin. She isolates my daughter from people in general and controls her every action, she’s only 3 years old. I haven’t seen my child since the divorce and now I finally got a court date this month on the 27th to get some more visitation. I hate that people do this to kids. It makes me sick to my stomach.

  • legend1938

    Hi John,
    Your story side a lot like mine. Just not as bad. It’s been about 100 days I have not seen my child. I had sole custody because she plead guilty to domestic violence against me. She is now has accused me of a horrific act of sexual abuse, which she has accused me of since 2012 to the police and CPS. Just found this out. I found this out through my attorney. She recently found a cps worker to listen to her lie. I believe in the long run I will win. My pain is that my child is suffering for no reason. My child has been experiencing emotional abuse from her mom, I just need to prove it. because of time passed I am afraid my child may not want to see me initially. But once home and about 30 minutes she will fill better. It’s very painful but I will continue to do what I think is best for her. Good Luck with your child.
    Ben

  • juju2

    John, you are doing the work of an angel- thank you for what you do! We are just waiting for age 18- over 10 years of nonstop alienation of father by mother. It is the worst hell to be subjected to and there are a thousand ways to make truly good people- loving Dads/blended families suffer if you are dealing with an empowered alienator- especially a “Teflon Mom.” I can honestly say I know what discrimination feels like because I have seen my husband deprived of and fight for his rights on a continual basis on every last thing for years. The whole system doesn’t “get it” yet and is still set up to enable the result because MOM- well, system: not everyone is June Cleaver… but awareness is growing every day- and you are part of that! You rock!

  • Some very kind words from you, julu– thank you! Your words are absolutely spot-on. I like your reference to “Teflon Mom”… care to elaborate a bit?

  • John, these people are Human Manure Spreaders. You need to seek a court order to allow you to see your girl. Do it ‘pro se’ if you have to…

  • It typically happens this way… it’s a giant boomerang that hits them head on later in life.

  • Thanks for sharing. You’re right: controlling = narcissistic = parental alienator.

  • Great insights to narcissistic brainwashers. What a sad soul she has… inflicting emotional pain on everyone around her. The unfortunately reality is that she will never change, leaving only one solution for you: not allowing her to pull you down with her negativity and evil actions. We can only control a few things in life, one of them is how react to others. Your words show me that you’re a strong person. You get your mother and what afflicts her, and that’s 80% of the battle…

  • Thanks for sharing, Tim. She’s a true manipulator, and gets away with it– even in the courts where they’re supposed to be standing up to abusive parents. Putting your child’s name is a good idea, as that’s one way to connect with him when he Googles his name one day…

  • mmj75 .

    Finally the Judge saw that it wasn’t parent alienating the other parent (father), but the parent (mother) was protecting the children from mental abuse from the other parent (father) and stepparent. So sometimes it is not always what it seems.

  • juju2

    Well, the Mafia Don, John Gotti was nicknamed Telfon Don in the press because he never got convicted, never got caught- the name “stuck”- no matter what mom does-she gets away with it because mom- courts are predisposed to back whoever originates as primary custodial, especially a mom (the tender years presumption starts ball rolling with mom, de facto) and not change the status quo even with a mountain of documentation and bad personal choices over time (living with violent felon who hurts child, double DUI on custody time, moving 10 times in 10 years)- this enables the alienation. People are still learning the many ways an uncooperative parent can cause dysfunction and alienate- every moment a chance to turn the knife- last minute change of medical appts, sign up for sports 2 hours out of county near boyfriend so Dad has trouble attending, constantly concealing of info- behavior warnings, tardies, etc., false accusations to school and court, incessant badmouthing to child, begrudging every hour of custody time, change of schools against court order, change of county, omission from paperwork. It is a fulcrum of stress on child and on other parent. The solution is to recognize it and switch primary in B.I.C. asap but they delay and need to see a long standing pattern because burden is a major “change of circumstances” once primary is chosen. You win or lose in the first year in court and lines are drawn after that, seems. However, it takes time to know who’s telling the truth and who’s toxic… the child suffers in interim.

  • liberallover

    I agree with Sarah Zielinski, and it is probably evident well before divorce (if divorce ever comes) that one or both parents have exhibited such abusive traits to garner favor of their children. The article is fairly succinct in that it describes the behaviors most prevalent of these personality types when manipulating the perceptions of thier spouse or ex in the minds and eyes of their children and extended family. I think that it does not go far enough to explain the patterns and noticeable traits of narcissistic personalities as it mostly declares the blaringlyrics obvious trends of any overtly narcissistic traits being cold, callousness, self aggrandizing, and self involved. But these same motivations can appear covertly in the meticulous and scrupulously hidden behaviors of the knowing manipulator. Many narcissistic people are well aware that their obvious vanities would not go over well with most normal or balanced and discerning observers and are very capable of controlling thier own behavior as to appear well meaning and “innocently” of purest intentions before anyone who could actively contest abusive behaviors or advocate for children exposed to such mind and emotional abuse. It goes without much more added discussions that these manipulators know who to say what to to get what they want, but this also includes feigning the appropriate emotions and concern and external interests in others or about circumstances, in everyway are capable, cold, calculating ACTORS. As the adult child of two such parents who are still together as a late life cohesion for social survival, I am extensively aware of what extent they are capable of extending thier efforts to “prove” righteousness. Despite my experiences of thier decades of bad mouthing the other to me and my Brother in a tug of war control struggle that has effectively left me scarred with PTSD, they have come to some form of corroborated conclusion to assume no accountability for ever having had me in thier care at any time as far as to fabricating the entirety of my childhood experiences and telling extended family I am not of sound mind, a drug addict, a criminal, zero of which has any basis in truth, yet because the are now “elders” in the family they are given complete leniency, and in many cases total credibility although everything they say is complete hear-say. This is worse than any divorce they used to each would tell me they yearned for annually, as I was growing up, but each would declare staying together was for my and my Brother’s benefits, regardless any reasoning I would attempt to reauest that their daily yelling matches and violent outbursts were to no one’s benefit. So here I am excommunicated from family and dreadful of any communication with them that we speak only bi annually as I can handle dealing with the fall out and continued defamation as they project horrid accusations on me as the bad child for confronting thier behaviors. It takes far more restraint and maturity on my behalf to speak with them once or twice a year then it has ever been exhibited by either of them speaking in private to me about the other, or bad mouthing me if I didn’t side with one or the other. I have a life time of therapy and self work ahead of me and no one who was ever a part of my support structure in my first 20 years could be bothered enough to care what happened or why I can not be near them, as this merely places me in the disobedient, disloyal and uncomfortable position of facing thier lack of honest self awareness. The cost to me has been immeasurable, and I have zero means of justice in this lifetime. As one Dr put it, “things may never be okay for “me” with my family, if ever, maybe only after one of them dies.” And that is the morbid reality of the inventory of such damages accessed, I believe for many children of abusive manipulation. We are supposed to be grateful that it wasn’t worse. A child who grows up thinking “gee, thanks.” when they are regularly reminded they should be grateful for of all things, to be alive, is inherently going to have issues that is not just thier own burden but the burden of the community. As comprehensively unproductive and dangerous it would be to evoke such practices, I was as young as 6 when I first considered how useful it would have been to me if parents were required to be tested and regularly accessed for thier competence and ability to carry out thier duties as care givers. To all children of covertly abusive and manipulative families, my heart goes out.

  • John

    Thank you, Julu for the kind words! 🙂

  • Jeff Ryker

    I’m not sure anyone will see this since last post was 2 years ago, but here goes.

    After 13 years of raising my daughter (now 17) as a single father under “shared parenting” arrangement and having enjoyed more time with her than the normal every other weekend that most father are relegated to, she has cut me out. Time with has been scarce over the past 15 months (not one holiday shared) and now she won’t even return or take my call.

    It kills me. Sometimes I feel as if I can barely breath, And the truth is…I am powerless to fix this. I have reached out to my ex-wife / her mother and asked for insight and / or help… She professes to want my daughter and I to have good relationship, but her actions indicate otherwise. Not a single update on daughter’s status, switched high schools w/o a word of consult, not a word expressed in email, text or otherwise relating her advocacy for me. 3 prior custody suits filed by her mom, all of which I retained my time and rights as father, further lead me to believe that the “your dad is not necessary” has taken root.

    I know my daughter is 17 wants her independence as well, which is why I released via email to daughter her and her mom from court blessed / ordered visitation…thinking that time and space would help heal wounded daughter / father relationship and set the stage for fresh start. It hasn’t happened though I have tried everything I know. I love daughter more than I despise my ex-wife, I just wish she did, too.

  • Leslie Sowers

    I really have to say that I’m not alienating or brainwashing my kids. He has refused to call his children cause he doesn’t want to deal with me. Now mind u when u would call the phone would go right to them n I would tell them to go to their room so I didn’t hear the conversation or even but in. Now on the other hand when he had our one daughter he always had my daughter sit beside him n listen to the whole conversation and then hang up on me he would not allow me to see her on a regular basis or nothing. Yet I have put my foot down n chose not to allow my child. To go to his house due to issues he doesn’t want to deal with regard g my kids. Example being beat up on n bullied. I refuse to allow my kids to continue to go through this. I have also told him till it went to court he could be supervised n he still says no. But yet they r the ones saying I’m alienating then kids n I don’t see where this is me. I am protecting them from being hurt n abused. Can u explain how this is considered alienation

  • At least you are aware of what’s happening. It’s been a long time since you wrote this. I hope you’ve found happiness in life.

  • Eric Korbly

    It appears that parents who alienate their own child’s other parent are usually dishonest as a whole, likely having serious psychological problems. They are able to lie without remorse. The use the legal system to hammer people they don’t like.

    What strikes me as so incredibly hard to reconcile is over in the local halls of justice how easily the judge & court staff are duped into believing an manipulators story. It’s common knowledge that manipulative people try to isolate those around them from others.

    The lack of fact checking is bewildering. They’re willing tools of a the alienating parent. It’s not just that they are blind to it but they support that personality type.
    The enabling nature of modern legal practices are a huge part of the problem. The truth & reality mean very little in court proceedings. Those who can’t afford an attorney are not treated equal access to the law. So if you’re poor & being alienated too f***ing bad. There is no place to turn if a judge acts illegally. Appeals are for the rich only.

    Gone are the foundations of law our forefathers created to prevent abuse by the legal system. But for a parent who has an axe to grid, that can lie without remorse is enabled. In America you no longer have the right to face your accuser. The right to a hearing,
    where proof is required before a verdict of guilt. Where legal proceedings are public. These were standards set up to find out truth.

    This is perfect for someone trying to keep kids away from another parent. Anyone can say anything. Especially if the accused don’t even get to defend themselves.
    No one see’s how the current procedures regarding emergency orders? Their low standards for evidence are perfectly set up to support a dishonest person with a vendetta? All someone need do is say I feel threatened. Bam! restraining order. He abused so & so… Geez I wonder if anyone takes advantage of that, or abuses the system? All in the name of being extra safe.

    The innocent get pseudo punished as the default now with emergency hearings that only the accuser attends. Instead of having some victims who can’t be protected due to a lack of evidence there now is means for high conflict personalities to victimize whom ever just from an accusation alone with state sanctioned help. How safe is that?

    In my case, her long criminal record, previous false accusations, or multiple custody order violations don’t interfere with the cooperation of the legal system for her benefit. False accusations? They don’t care if their time is wasted. They don’t care if she is manipulating my son.
    All I want from the local halls of justice is 1:for them to follow procedure & CA civil, CA probate codes, 2: to have my case looked over a little more in detail by the judge. I’m confident all that’s needed is to dig beyond her words. To check to see if our son is being manipulated.
    There are patterns, & my son is following them, that alienated children can be identified with. Such as not wanting contact with a parent but not having any real valid stated reason. “I don’t have to go with you dad” …” Why don’t you want to?” , then repeats what he was trained to say “I don’t have to go with you dad” What is the timing of this rejection of a parent. Why then? What’s different? Their words are echoed, often exactly the same as the parent in question. Alienating parents make fake claims of abuse in times of disagreement (not a coincidence) & there’s no evidence to substantiate this.

    But it’s the legal system that’s the real issue. They aid & assist the dishonest by means of running the legal system dishonestly.

  • Eric Korbly

    It appears that parents who alienate their own child’s other parent are
    usually dishonest as a whole, likely having serious psychological
    problems. They are able to lie without remorse. They use the legal
    system to hammer people they don’t like.

    What strikes me as so
    incredibly hard to reconcile is over in the local halls of justice how
    easily the judge & court staff are duped into believing an
    manipulators story. It’s common knowledge that manipulative people try
    to isolate those around them from others.

    The lack of fact
    checking is bewildering. They’re willing tools of a the alienating
    parent. It’s not just that they are blind to it but they support by methodology that
    high conflict personality type.
    The enabling nature of modern legal practices is
    a huge part of the problem. The truth & reality mean very little
    in court proceedings. Those who can’t afford an attorney are not
    treated equal access to the law. So if you’re poor & being
    alienated too f***ing bad. There is no place to turn if a judge acts
    illegally or decides to abandon procedure. Appeals are for the rich only.

    Gone are the
    foundations of law our forefathers created to prevent abuse by the legal
    system. But for a parent who has an axe to grid, that can lie without
    remorse, now they are enabled. In America you no longer have the right to face
    your accuser. The right to a hearing,
    where proof is required before a verdict of guilt. Where legal
    proceedings are public. These were standards set up to find out truth.

    This is perfect for someone trying to keep kids away from
    another parent. Anyone can say anything. Especially if the accused
    don’t even show up & get to defend themselves.
    No one see’s how the current
    procedures regarding emergency orders are doing tremendous harm? Their low standards for evidence
    are perfectly set up to support a dishonest person with a vendetta?
    All someone need do is say I feel threatened. Bam! restraining order.
    He abused so & so… Geez I wonder if anyone takes advantage of
    that, or abuses the system? All in the name of being extra safe.

    The
    innocent get pseudo punished as the default now with emergency hearings
    that only the accuser attends. Instead of having some victims who
    can’t be protected due to a lack of evidence there now is means for high
    conflict personalities to victimize whom ever just from an accusation
    alone with state sanctioned help. How safe is that?

    In my
    case, her long criminal record, previous false accusations, or multiple
    custody order violations don’t interfere with the cooperation of the
    legal system for her benefit. False accusations? They don’t care if
    their time is wasted. They don’t care if she is manipulating my son.
    All
    I want from the local halls of justice is 1:for them to follow
    procedure & CA civil, CA probate codes, 2: to have my case looked
    over a little more in detail by the judge. I’m confident all that’s
    needed is to dig beyond her words. To check to see if our son is being
    manipulated.
    There are patterns, & my son is following them,
    that alienated children can be identified with. Such as not wanting
    contact with a parent but not having any real valid stated reason. “I
    don’t have to go with you dad” …” Why don’t you want to?” , then
    repeats what he was trained to say “I don’t have to go with you dad”
    What is the timing of this rejection of a parent. Why then? What’s
    different? Their words are echoed, often exactly the same as the parent
    in question. Alienating parents make fake claims of abuse in times of
    disagreement (not a coincidence) & there’s no evidence to
    substantiate this.

    But it’s the legal system that’s the real
    issue. They aid & assist the dishonest by means of running the
    legal system dishonestly.

  • Nativelotus

    Wow. Every one of the’s fits my stepson’s mom. The only one I disagree with is the one about taking antidepressants. I have major depressive disorder because of trauma from my childhood and my medication saved my life. I don’t alienate my children because of this (I have 2 daughters from a previous marriage).

    The alienation and abuse had gotten worse wit my stepsons; no matter that my husband has had joint custody of them almost their entire life. Even with evidence of physical abuse, DHR cases, and obtaining a lawyer, the system still allows the boys with her. We have a dated system here, it’s very “pro-mother” no matter how much of a monster she may be.

    Some things she has and are is currently doing are; making them lie to us, doesn’t acknowledge me as a factor in their life (even though we’ve been married for 7 years now) unless she’s talking negative of me, alienates them from friends and family, got a substitute teaching job simply because she doesn’t want them out of her sight, hasn’t let them see their own grandparents in over 3 months (because she’s “mad” at them, uses cell phones as tools to hurt them (if you don’t answer me when I text , you’re grounded), threatens to move them from school to school if they visit their grandparents while under are care (she tries to control them even when they are here ), if they don’t do what she wants she says she isn’t their mom anymore and tells their toddler brother they aren’t his siblings anymore, says they don’t love her if they don’t do what she wants, and much more. On top of this, she physically abuses them. She will grab their faces violently and slap them anywhere on their bodies repeatedly until they give in to her wishes. I haven’t even stated everything she does because it’s so hard to type. 🙁

    We are in the process of getting another lawyer so we can get full custody. Her own parents support us because of the sheer hell they are going through with her right now. They made her angry so she’s withheld the boys for months now; and she spreading gossip they are on crack and cooking drugs!!

    We’ve gone before judges and countless social workers. We’ve begged and pleaded to get them away. We even said let her keep all the child support she’s draining from us (yes, even with split custody they awarded her a ton of child support. We had to file bankruptcy and almost lost everything ). She’s excessively ligated us and drained us to a point of desperation. My husband makes 20$ and we are always broke. We do have extended family that helps us from time to time; however, my husband still told the judge last time let her keep the money and give me the boys.
    I agreed with him. They deserve a happy childhood because the system here has FAILED them tremendously. Their childhood as of now consists of constantly worrying about what their mom will do to them; all because they want to love their entire family and not just her.

  • Santiago Junior

    Sir John Thomas, this list was made by you or Gardner? I need this information. Thank you.

  • it’s mine, sir.

  • John

    By me, sir.

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