It’s a father’s day joke that a child said “I don’t want to see Daddy”. Fathers rights to visitation are guaranteed under the law but are often mishandled by the family court. It’s unbelievably common for children to experience parental alienation against the father during or after a divorce. This can happen when the wife (or ex-wife) undermines the relationship between the child and the father by making negative comments, limiting contact, or falsely accusing the father of wrongdoing. Some methods of alienation is even more complicated and well-conceived so that it’s very difficult to detect. Children who experience this kind of alienation may come to believe that the father is bad or that they should not have a relationship with the father, even if it’s not true.
Among the many cases we have seen, even the fathers were surprised that their children actually told the social workers that they did not want to see their fathers. Then, fathers learn about alienation and how the mother has been using it as a litigation weapon.
The children saying “No” to fathers rights to visitation?
The irony is that, even though fathers know about the alienation and try to counterstrike, many professionals still don’t get it.
We list here a list of words professionals often say or transcribe to the fathers:
1. If the child misses you so much, he should find a way to tell his mother.
This statement is not that wrong. In fact, even the mother may have told her children, if you miss Dad, just tell me. But, the trick is, the mother has been saying A LOT OF BAD THINGS about Dad including Dad hurt her so much, Dad is a psycho, Dad has a new girlfriend already, etc. So, the children may give up the idea of telling his mother “I miss Dad” and keep it to their heart. Maybe when the child tells the mother, the mother scolds him, intimidates him, or pretends not to hear. Sometimes the mother might pretend to be making arrangements (for children to see the father), but in fact there is no arrangement at all. “Your father is very busy”, “Dad has ignored us” are often excuses.
2. If the child misses you that much, he should find a way to call you secretly.
If the children insists on contacting their father under the obvious objection of his mother, the children will face great crisis. In crisis, the father’s side is not yet safe enough. The children know they will be returned to their mother’s place in the end. The children are afraid that they would have no home to go back to. Some children would also worried about mom’s safety if they really go to their dad’s house. The mother has already “planted” the warning that she might do something stupid to herself in order to control their children. Simply saying “if you go to dad’s place, I might not be alive when you come back” will scare the children effectively and say away from the father.
3. The mother said the child does not want to see the father now.
In cases we have seen, many mothers who are the main caregivers will ask the question very skillfully. She won’t ask in this way:
“I have made an appointment with your father tomorrow. We are going to see daddy tomorrow, okay?”
Usually the divorced mothers will ask:
“Dad said he really wants to see you, do you really want to go see him?”
“Do you really want to see him so much?”
And then the mother will be again talking about how bad his father was to her, how sad it would be for the children to leave their mom home alone, and how she would not be able to survive. Then, the child would naturally say, “I don’t want to see my father, I don’t want to go!” Bingo. This is where the children say they don’t want to see their father, and fathers rights to visitation are seriously ignored.
4. Your child is about to grow up. You only need to endure another 10 years, and you can see him grown up
This sentence is the cruelest. They are not the parties involved, and they have never even raised their own children. They don’t know that when a father’s child disappears, it is very difficult to go through even one night. Every day is just very tormented. When it comes the relationship between father and child, saying “10 years” is tantamount to reminding this father that it must take so long to see his children.
Parental alienation can have serious consequences for the child’s well-being and future relationships. Children who are exposed to this type of behavior are at risk for emotional and psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. They may also struggle to form healthy relationships with others in the future and may have difficulty resolving conflict in a constructive manner.
How to talk to an alienated children during visitation?
No one can take away fathers rights to visitation. When the father can talk to his children, use the time wisely. We suggest you do the following during your short-time visitation with your children.
First, when talking to your alienated children, don’t mention the problems with the mother AT ALL. Don’t use your time with children to defend your innocence. The time is very short. Try to make the child relaxed and everything to understand. Even if the child is already a teenager, they can’t really fully understand and don’t want to listen to your complicated stuff. When you try to explain the adults’ quarrel to the child, it is actually an invisible pressure on the children.
Second, be with children in THE SAME WAY as before. The time between you and the child is carried out under great pressure (usually under the surveilence of the mother). In fact, the child is very confused. The happy time with his father has become a time like this. On the one hand, your child wants to go back to the old days.
Third, don’t mention the younger days. Treat the child as of what he/she is now. Many fathers miss the old days and emphasize how abundant time the fathers have with the kids. Fathers like to recall the happy moments with their children before. These are something that make the children think “Daddy is boring”. The children themselves don’t like nostalgia. Only adults want to be nostalgic.
Fourth, don’t ask too many questions. Every time a question is asked, the child is obliged to answer, but in this state, he might actually feel guilty to report anything to you. The child feels he has betrayed his mother. The child might also begin to believe the father is not be the same as before. So, just be the same, don’t ask questions,
Fifth, try not to cry. Dad’s tears are very precious and touching. However, the children themselves are already traumatized. The tears might remind the children of unpleasant arguments (between the adults). The children just don’t want to see a different father. So, no matter how sad you are in the visitation, just try to HOLD your tears.