A leading authority on divorce helps parents shield children from the crossfire of divorce and separation.
Your ex-spouse is bad-mouthing you to your children, perhaps even trying to turn them against you. If you handle the situation ineffectively, you could lose your children's respect, their affections, even, in extreme cases, lose contact with them.
The conventional advice is to do nothing, for fear that any response would be fighting fire with fire and result in greater injury to the children. But in his more than twenty-five years of research on divorcing families, Dr Richard Warshak has become convinced that a passive approach does nothing but leave parents feeling helpless. And the damage to children is considerable, particularly when warring parents enlist children as allies in the battle.
The problems range from tainted parent-child relationships, in which children are disrespectful or reluctant to show their affection, to a disturbance in which children virtually disown one of their parents and all the relatives on that side of the family.
This is the first book that offers specific advice to protect children from the results of their parents' animosity. In it, you will learn how to:
- Respond when your children join forces with your ex
- React if your children refuse to see you
- Answer rude and hateful behaviour
- Insulate children from the harmful effects of bad-mouthing
- Identify and correct your own contributions to parent-child conflicts
- Defend against false accusations of brainwashing
- Choose the best therapist and lawyer
- Reconcile with children after years of estrangement
Dr Warshak reveals the typical behaviours of alienated children, how and why parents manipulate their children, seven rules for responding effectively to bad-mouthing without succumbing to the impulse to retaliate in kind, and how the controversial diagnosis "parental alienation syndrome" is used in court to take children away from parents or to regain contact with alienated children.
This path-breaking work gives parents powerful strategies to preserve and rebuild loving relationships with their children - and provides legal and mental health professionals practical advice to help their clients and safeguard the welfare of children. Whether they are perpetrators of divorce poison, victims of it, or both, parents who heed Dr Warshak's advice will enable their children to maintain love and respect for two parents who no longer love, and may not respect, each other.