What Should I Do If I Am A Targeted Parent?
Think about where you are as a targeted parent in your high conflict divorce. Are you defeated, ready to give up, and feel nothing you do is answered in positive ways? Are you feeling that you can persist in your efforts to regain a relationship with your alienated child, even though your ex-spouse is making your life a living hell?
My parent coaching practice focuses on moving targeted parents through parent alienation. The clients that make the most progress understand that they must work on themselves, see things from their child's perspective, create a plan and lead with compassion rather than conflict.
Having a strategic plan and setting small goals is essential to moving forward in a positive way when it comes to reuniting with your children. Goal setting gives you a plan for your future and allows you to know where to focus your efforts. Goal setting also provides you with short-term motivation.
Targeted parents who reach small goals at the beginning of coaching report feeling hope instead of hopelessness. For example, setting a small goal of trying to get a text message from your child, can lead to phone calls.
4 Tips On How To Make Obtainable Goals
Little picture & big picture First, you set the "Long Term Goal." In the targeted parent's case, this would be fully reunifying with your child. Then, you set "Small Goals," to get to the long-term goals, such as engaging your child through emails or reaching out to your ex. suggesting cooperation.
Create a daily list of goals Create a "To-Do List." For example, today I am going to make a list of 5 short emails I want to send to my son or daughter over the next two weeks. These emails are not going to tell my side of the story but rather let my child know that I validate and acknowledge his or her feelings.
Make goals realistic It is essential that you set goals that are possible to meet. For example, if you have not had contact with your alienated child for 3 years, it is going to take a great deal of persistence on your part to regain contact. Sending one apologetic email is probably not going to get the job done.
Stick with your plan Once you have begun your process, stick to your daily plan. Consistency is key. Review your plan and change it accordingly. Make sure that your goals are realistic to your specific parent alienation situation. If your child is not responding immediately, do not smother them with more emails. Instead, send messages every 4 days instead of every 3 days.
I have found that targeted parents who set realistic goals have a better chance of reuniting with their alienated children. Unrealistic goal setting tends to cause hopelessness leaving the targeted parent wanting to give up quickly. Slow and steady is the approach to take when attempting to reconnect with your alienated child.
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