Many fathers are thwarted in their attempts to develop and continue their relationships with their children because those children’s other parents do their best to keep the fathers from their kids. The term for this is parental alienation and it can cause great damage to the parent-child relationship.
If you are a father concerned about being alienated from your child(ren), you can’t be passive and simply accept the status quo. You are the parent, too, and that means that you have both rights and responsibilities.
These red flags can alert you to the problem
There are a number of potential signs of parental alienation, but some of the most critical include:
1. You are excluded from the child’s events
Your son or daughter might discourage you from attending their soccer games or their parent might tell you the wrong day and time for the parent-teacher conference. Slowly but surely, you may feel as if you are being erased from their lives.
2. You are no longer listed as an emergency contact with schools or doctors
Unless the courts have so ordered, you should have the same access as their other parent to be informed about their school progress and medical conditions. If you find yourself blacked out and it was not court-ordered, this is very serious.
3. Your relationship with your child changes inexplicably
Certainly, there can be normal conflicts as kids approach puberty and during the teen years. That’s part of the normal separation of the child from their parents and must be accepted. But if your son or daughter is refusing to have a relationship with you or must be forced to go with you during custody exchanges, it’s likely that the other parent is speaking negatively about you to your child.
What can a father do?
Now is a time to be proactive and learn all you can about your rights as a dad and how best to make sure the courts can protect you from parental alienation.