Why exercise self-restraint; tips to reverse alienation by Dr. Warshak

Posted on August 28, 2012. Filed under: books, story | Tags: , , , |

In Dr. Warshak’s book “Divorce Poison“, he tells alienated parents to use self-restraint. Why?

1) Your children are being manipulated to express the alienating parent’s hostility. Don’t punish your kids for the alienating parents behavior.

2) Your kids are looking for reasons to justify their dislike for you. Don’t help them.

3) Your loss of temper will play directly into the hands of the alienating parent. One lapse in judgement can be used over and over in court to exaggerate how you treat (mistreat) your kids. Your behavior will be seen as the cause of the alienation instead of an isolated reaction.

Dr. Warshak also offers suggestions on how to maintain your relationship with your children and how to reverse the alienation.

1) Don’t counter what your children say. “If you don’t want to see me then I don’t want to see you.” On some level they will be hurt and feel abandoned. It will only deepen the alienation.

2) Develop a thick skin. Remember children are the victims.

3) Don’t talk about the reasons for the hatred.

4) Concentrate on having pleasant experiences with the children. Introduce your children to people who treat you with respect and hold you in high regard such as (aunts, cousins, friends, and children who are friends with your children). Observing people valuing you will help off-set the negative image that your kids have of you. Plus it will be difficult for your children to treat you rudely if they are in a positive environment where everyone sees you in a positive light. In return your kids behavior may improve.

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Five questions Dr. Warshak asks parents to think about before sharing divorce related info with kids

Posted on August 28, 2012. Filed under: books, story | Tags: , , |

When parents divorce they sometimes share more information with their children than they need to. In Dr. Warshark’s book Divorce Poison“, he asks parents 5 questions. These questions are designed to make parents think before sharing potentially harmful information with their children. The 5 questions are as follows:

1) What is my real reason for revealing this information to the children? (Will they benefit from the information?)

2) Are my children being harmed by the behavior I am about to criticize? Or are they being harmed by not having the information?

3) How will it help the children to hear what I am about to tell them?

4) Do the possible benefits of revealing this to the children out-weigh the possible risks?

5) If I were still happily married to my spouse, and I wanted to protect our children’s relationship with him/her, how would I handle the situation?

Dr. Warshak uses an example of a woman having an affair. She becomes pregnant. She leaves her husband and 3 kids to have her new lovers baby. She moves to another town. How does the father explain why mom moved away? Dr. Warshak’s suggested response is “I was not able to make your mother happy enough to stay in the marriage”.

(I am sure my answer would be different, but I get the point. It is important to think before answering. Speaking impulsively could hurt the kids. Tact is needed in this situation. Unfortunately most people when angry speak without thinking.  This leads to problems that are so common in many divorces.)

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