Any type of separation, whether in cases of abuse, divorce, or parental alienation, can take a painful toll on the relationship between a parent and child. Research has shown these situations often result in some form of post-traumatic stress, and any attempt to repair the relationship must be done in a careful and sensitive manner.
The psychologists at Psych & Psych Services, a family counseling and substance abuse center in Elyria, OH, are here with some strategies to make the process easier for everyone. Here are three ways to help mend a strained adult-child relationship:
A child who has been alienated is likely to have strong negative feelings towards the parent. In order to reestablish trust in the relationship, a parent must work to erode that negativity and replace it with positive experiences and congruent behavior. It can be helpful for a parent to introduce another adult friend or colleague into the mix—someone who respects the parent and can show the child not everyone shares their negative viewpoint.
Keep Kids Away From Conflict
During a hostile divorce or separation, the child could end up in the middle, despite a parent’s best intentions. Unfortunately, one parent usually wins out over the other. For both the child who feels alienated and the rejected parent, this has to change. A family counseling session can help work through some of these issues.
Mending a damaged relationship between a parent and child isn’t easy, but it’s important to be consistent and keep working on it. In many cases, the child will seem hostile and disrespectful towards the parent, which is often just a way to hide their own feelings of rejection and abandonment. Parents must show constant love and compassion, creating a safe space where the child can express their emotions freely.
Family counseling plays an important role in reunification between a parent and a child. If you and your family need support and guidance, contact the psychologists at Psych & Psych Services. Call (440) 323-5121 to make an appointment, or visit the website for a full list of counseling services.