3 Reasons Parents struggle to reconnect with their Children.

Apr 04, 2023

by Ginger Gentile, Coach Reversing Parental Alienation

Why are some parents able to succeed and others struggle to reunite with their children even though they have tried everything? 

In some cases, a parent may not be able to reunite with their child even though they have studied a lot about parental alienation, estrangement and have even taken courses. They have issues primarily because of three main factors. 

The First Reason.

They are angry or frustrated with their child. 

They feel that they have done a lot of work and that their child should recognize the effort and growth that the parent has done. 

They feel that the child should be able to see their effort and understand how hard it was for the parent to change. So even though they have done the work they approach the relationship with a sense of expectation and desire for their child to meet with them because of the effort they have put in so much effort. 

Leading to  frustration when the child does not reach out, or they might even be rude and do things that hurt the parent. 

The key is to focus on unconditional love and outreach to the child without expecting anything in return, because that is the nature of a parent's true love for a child.

 It is unconditional, unbreakable and unwavering even if not openly reciprocated. 

It has been a problem since the beginning of time, no matter what religious tradition you come from. From the Bible parable in the New Testament of the Prodigal Son. The son acts very badly towards his father, squanders all of his inheritance after demanding it early. But when he comes back, the father welcomes him with unconditional love and understanding. 

The Second Reason

Anger towards the ex, which is the child's other parent and incredibly important in the child's life. 

A lot of parents tell me that they never disparage the other parent, never talk ill of them. But when they talk to me, boy, does a lot of anger come out. They will tell me their motivation for doing certain things, like requesting counseling, is just to have evidence that the other parent is being unhelpful. 

If there is communication with the other parent, they only see it as negative. 

I remember one situation where a teenage daughter was playing a sport and the mother reached out to the father who was being alienated and requested that he pay half the cost of new sporting equipment even though it wasn't required of him and he would never get to see his daughter use it. 

The father responded back that because the daughter was 17, she should reach out to him. 

Both of the communications from the mother and the father were correct. 

However the father pointed out to me how passive aggressive this communication was from the mother by saying things like, “if you want to support her continued success in golf, this is how she can see that.” 

But what the father did not see is that this communication was also polite. It was short, brief and made a very specific request that he could accept or deny. His lens of the situation was tarnished and so we could only see it one way

He was lucky. I deal with so many parents that get long disparaging texts. But he could only see the negative from this. 

He also mentioned that he was forcing her to go into co-parenting classes so he could maliciously enforce the agreement and have proof that she was alienating him.

I helped him realize that a child's biggest wish is for his or her parents to be able to get along and be in the same room.

I helped him realize that what he was doing was preparing the path so that when his daughter soon turned 18, she'd say,

 “I want nothing to do with these two people who are always fighting, and I'm going to move away so I don't have to deal with this continuing anger”. 

No matter how justified you feel in your anger, and trust me, I've seen some exes do some very horrible things. 

All you're doing is making your child the center of the conflict, and children want nothing more than to no longer be in the conflict. 

The third reason 

For many adult children that were raised by someone with a personality disorder such as Dark Triad, Narcissism, or Borderline. They have been taught their whole life, without the benefit of you, to cut people out and to see things in black and white. 

In these cases, keep reaching out and sending love. Just remember, your child may need a lot of help when they come back, if they come back at all. Since they were raised by this person, there is a strong possibility, though not a guarantee, that they are still suffering from some sort of mental illness or personality disorder or PTSD. Children adapt to their environments quickly so they can survive and so they can adjust to a new normal.


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