Turning all phones off during the child’s birthdays, for Thanksgiving, Father’s Day, etc.

It’s been a rare holiday or birthday that I’ve been able to speak to my son. And never has my son initiated a call to me for these important dates– even Father’s Day.

Of course we know that kids aren’t generally aware of these dates and to reach out to loved ones, which is why they usually need a parent’s guidance. In a divorce, that means the parent with the child should help the child reach out to the other parent on these special days. However, a parent bent on minimizing or destroying the importance of their ex will place barricades up to keep the child from connecting to the other parent. It’s simply sick.

Recently on a big holiday, my son’s mother conveniently produced cell phone technical issues and the ridiculous “phone was being charged” argument. Nevermind that almost every phone can be used while it’s being charged.

This difficulty and sometimes outright inability for you to get through to your cute loved one(s) is a telltale sign of that parent’s hostility towards the child having a solid relationship with you. These parents brainwash their children on top of the gag on their child’s communications, and end up harming the child considerably.

One way to take the bull by the horns on this is to ask, preferably via text (so that it’s documented), a few days earlier when’s a good time to call on that day. If it becomes a recurring theme, then it’s time to contact your lawyer and consider a strongly worded letter for starters, up to a full blown hearing. Don’t let this parent get away with such awful behavior!

Think about what this teaches the child:

1. Important occasions don’t warrant even minimal telephone contact with the other parent

2. Ignoring the other parent on Father’s/Mother’s Day, a birthday, or Christmas is completely OK

3. Ignoring your siblings, uncles, and other relatives is also completely OK

It’s sad that parents routinely pull this ploy on their kid’s relationship to the other parent. It’s despicable.

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!
  • deadheadkirb

    I’ve been going thru this for the last 4.5 yrs and the courts are rare to punish mothers when they lie. There is rarely any Justice for fathers, I just hope children aren’t damaged beyond repair before the courts act.

  • Kim

    My ex and his wife will refuse to answer the phone if they see its from me and then fail to tell the kids “your mom’s calling”. Their excuse is that they tell the kids this but the kids don’t want to talk to me. They state they can’t force the children to call me. Its heartbreaking.

  • admin

    It’s sadly true, deadhead. And too often children *are* damaged by these courts by their refusal to hold these mentally abusive parents accountable. Even a sternly worded warning can benefit a child who’s suffering under the weight of such a parent.

    Kim, if you’re able to, and this is a regular problem, contact a lawyer and set a hearing whereby you can air your grievance before a judge. What your ex and his wife are doing is terrible, and he needs to be held accountable as well…

  • Becca

    I don’t think laws apply to moms in court, as so many can get away with breaking every law in the book. They use their kids as pawns in vengence against the fathers.

    After 10 years of severe abuse and brainwashing, a WI mother has turned her son into a lethal weapon: he threatened the entire staff of his school, he attempted to stab his father, and he is now stalking his father’s new family. Thanks to the courts allowing the mother to lie in court without punishment, and helped her take away father’s rights to get his son therapy, there is now another ticking time bomb in Wisconsin. She also has little control over the now 19 year old. She failed to realize that when you train a pitbull to bite one person, it will bite everybody!

  • FE

    And what if when the father is given access to call his kids he uses the opportunity to scream and shout at the mother and manipulate the kids?? It happens guys…..
    I’m new to this site and have commented a few times on different blogs. Yes, I’m looking for answers too but in my case it’s for my step-children as I am a very lucky father who gets along with my ex, and has free access to my kids.
    It’s hard to read between the lines of everyone else’s messages, but I can honestly say that I too have made a few of the mistakes discussed on this site whilst going through a divorce, and because I’ve been willing to admit this to myself, I think it has allowed me the good fortune of having a happy relationship with my children.
    I know through my wife (recently re-married) that not everyone can get along with the ex, but what i’ve also found is that it’s not actually the kids that the parents are fighting over….it’s because one or more of the ‘Adults’ are still bitter and twisted…..And there’s not a court in the land who will ever be able to resolve that. So for those of you who don’t have access to your children, I am so very sorry for you….For those that do, forget the past, and enjoy every second like it’s the last as you really don’t know how lucky you are!

  • kitten

    As a mom who has to deal with an ex who just cant figure out what being a good parent means, and have tried to help him in everyway possible. He refuses to let the anger and hate for me go and thus uses the kids as his new punching bag. I have dealt with the whole gamit of emotions and problems where the children are concerned. I am by no means a saint but I am also no monster. I have encouraged the children to find the best in very stressful visits with their father. But he has done so much damage (both physical and mental) that he has ruined his relationship with the children. They cry and beg not to go( and being court ordered I must send them) and they refuse to answer or speak to him when he calls. He in turn accuses me of filling them with lies, causing them to hate him. I personally have tried to smooth it over for him but have now given up due to my own stress. The kids have figured him out for themselves and when they ask me why he does what he does I shake my head and say given him a chance everyone can change. Although in my heart I know that to be untrue. How sad that he has to be so angery towards me and thus is unable to be a good father to his kids and enjoy their childhood. I have flat out told him to change his ways or one day these kids will walk away form him and never look back…Its sad…but true. My advice to all is get over your hurt and hate and think only of your children and their happiness… Time is to short to live any other way. Good luck to you all and do your best.