12 Tips And Tool For Life’s Challenges
It is essential to engage in self-care practices to help maintain your physical and emotional health. This is like putting on a life vest when you’re on a sinking ship. Looking after your emotional health is crucial to help you on the journey that is ahead of you and help you connect with your child by keeping you in a healthy frame of mind.
Understand what parental alienation is and its consequences.
Establish Healthy Boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries involves taking care of yourself and knowing what you like, need, want, and don’t want. It also involves:
(1) going inside of yourself to figure out what you feel and then
(2) clearly communicating that with the other person.
Be aware that any hurtful or negative comments your child makes about you are not necessarily an accurate reflection of their truly held feelings and thoughts.
Be honest with yourself and with professionals. In high conflict separations often both parties have contributed in some way to the current situation but on different scales. Accept responsibility for any past unhelpful behaviour. Children are more likely to be drawn to someone who displays contrition and humility rather than someone who is denying unhelpful choices, is arrogant or is defensive.
Communicating with your Child
Here is a link to a Co-Parenting article written by Amanda Sillars, the founding Director of Eeny Meeny Miney Mo. It is focused on preventing parental alienation.
There are often days where you might feel like you cannot cope. Remember that your child needs you and you need to stay healthy minded. The situation can change but you need to be ready.
Communicating with the other parent
Remember your behaviour, including your words spoken and written which includes your texts, emails, Facebook and so on, can be used against you by the other parent and submitted as evidence in court. Always speak calmly, speak assertively and never lose your temper.
BIFF Response(R) Method by Bill Eddy, is a helpful book that will help you respond to hostile emails, texts and other communications and make you feel good doing it!
How you present
Remind yourself how important it is to keep healthy minded, positive and uplifting. Your child will not be attracted to someone who is no longer caring for themselves, bitter, angry and broken. Alienated children are very protective of the alienating parent so don't get into the blame game. Avoid comments like “your dad/mum won’t let you” or “your mum/dad say’s I am a bad person” and so on.
Would your child be attracted to you if you are angry, bitter, broken or not looking after yourself? Or would your child be attracted to someone who is healthy, loving, full of life, interested in them, uplifting and focused on moving forward. So if your struggling, right now is the best time to take action and look after you.
Be the best parent you can be and do your best to rise above the situation and be a positive role model. You have got this.
On-going conflict has a major impact on children, parents and extended family. When a child sees or hears a parent being hurt verbally, emotionally or physically it is similar to children being hurt themselves.
Seek legal advice from a lawyer as soon as you can. Don’t put it off, as the wait times for family court are very lengthy.
Documenting your case
The most important thing to remember is Never Give Up. You are important, your child needs you to look after you, so you can be there for them.
If you are finding it hard to cope with the conflict or breakdown in your relationship with your child or you have suicidal thoughts please seek help immediately. The better you cope, the better you are able to help yourself and your children.
Lifeline (Australia) 13 11 14 or in an emergency dial 000.
Here are lists to Beyond Blue for more support lines and websites.
And visit Head to Head for mental health services and more resources.
Australia has great mental health services and resources, but it can be tough finding the ones that suit you best. They have made your search easier by hand-picking resources from publicly funded providers.
Family Relationship Advice Line call 1800 050 321
Monday to Friday - 8 am to 8 pm
Saturday - 10 am to 4 pm (local time), except national public holidays.
International callers: +61 7 3423 6878
The Family Relationship Advice Line is a national telephone service established to assist families affected by relationship or separation issues.
The Advice Line provides information on family relationship issues and advice on parenting arrangements after separation. It can also refer callers to local services that can provide assistance.
The Advice Line compliments the information and services offered by Family Relationship Centres. It ensures that people who are not able to attend a Centre can be helped.
IMMEDIATE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
Beyond Blue - All calls and chats are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential.
Support, Advice, Action
Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
1300 22 4636
Suicide & Crisis Support
LIFELINE 13 11 14
HELP FOR PARENTS