Dear Lisa-Reader Question

Dear Lisa-Reader Question
image source; Unsplash by liane metzler

Actually, it’s a viewer question. This is one of several contacts I receive after someone watches my youtube video on parental alienation. The comments keep coming over there and some of them quite negative. I’ve had to delete a few and guess which gender? Male. Now, I do not man bash because I love men. However, what is it about the few that want to make everything into “my ex-wife is a total b****h..” and “only the women are guilty of ….” fill in the blank.

It infuriates me no end. Some of them comment without watching the video, I’m convinced. They accuse me of blaming men…argh. That’s my rant for the week. Now, down to business. I received this question a couple of weeks ago.

*Name is changed but the question is verbatim.

Dear Lisa,

I just watched your Youtube video on parental alienation. My now 15 yo daughter is alienated from me. Her 18 yo brother saw through it all and lives with me and has full independent access to his parents. But my daughter lives exclusively with the mother. I am denied all access. I have no way to communicate with the daughter without going through the mother. My daughter treats me as a visitor. To me, this is a perversion of the parental relationship a father should be having. I am not a visitor. I feel like just cutting my daughter off completely by refusing the rare visits I have from her, as I do not wish to have a “visit” relationship whereby she comes by once every couple months and I entertain her until she gets her fill of missing her dad. She is not honoring me (ala the ten commandments) by completely ignoring my parental role for her. Can you comment on this situation, as I feel you may have valuable information for me.

Thanks, Joseph


Hi Joseph,
Thanks for reaching out. My first thought is that you shouldn’t cut off your daughter. The only time I recommend a parent to ‘give up’ or cut off their child/teen/adult, is if you are suffering physically or emotionally such that your health is at risk. At that point, I advise a parent to take a step back and take care of themselves until they feel healthier and stronger.
Being alienated from your child can wreak havoc on your emotional health.
That said, if you can tolerate the rejection and at least follow through with the limited time you do have with your daughter, then I think it’s best to continue that contact. It may not be much but it’s better than nothing at all. Use the time you have with her wisely. Always emphasize that you miss her and also bring treasures from your past relationship with her. Drawings, photos, cards, stories she may wrote to you…anything that will allow her to reminisce on her relationship with you. This will re-build the bond you have shared with your daughter.
I hope my advice helps you. Stick with your daughter. Don’t give up on her. Make sure she has a way of contacting you, too if she needs to and doesn’t want to go through her mother. Wishing you all the best.

In conclusion

So, I think my advice was solid. I really don’t like to see a parent giving up on their child during PAS (parental alienation syndrome) because as the parent, we have to take the lead. We must lead by example and our example should always be love.
I thought it was interesting that Joseph refers to ala and the ten commandments. Unfortunately, religious beliefs aren’t going to sway a child’s point of view because what happens in real life and what happens in the scripture are not the same.
It’s a tough situation but let us not give up on our kids. Let love win and anger take a back seat. Usually, as children mature they appreciate the consistency of the loving parent. Remember, what the alienating parent is doing is the opposite of love and eventually the child(ren) figure that out.
Have you or anyone you know suffered from PAS?

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33 Replies to “Dear Lisa-Reader Question”

  1. Ugh, this is so heartbreaking.

    I can’t imagine feeling alienated from my parents or to have them give up on me (though I’m sure that over the years I’ve certainly done things to make them question our relationship). We are all imperfect, but I think the advice you give is absolutely spot-on. The parent should never abandon. I guess it’s easy for me to say, as I’m not yet one, but the parent is held to a different degree of responsibility, if that makes sense, and showing a child love at all stages reinforces that bond.

    But the comment did hurt my heart. I hope these two can repair their relationship once again.

    Also I’m sorry you receive so many hate-filled, hurtful comments. The hell?? Anyway, keep doing what you’re doing Lisa–spreading joy and love through your blog and your words <3

    Charlotte recently posted…The Dating Bender (book review and giveaway)My Profile

    1. Yes, we are all imperfect. This syndrome doesn’t occur in intact families (typically) but where the parents have split, it becomes an issue for many. The alienated parent can feel so burned and unappreciated that I understand they sometimes want to give up but shouldn’t unless they aren’t functioning well because of the bad treatment.

      The men who are suffering from this syndrome tend to lump all mothers in the category of alienators. The women suffering do not implicate men. It’s kind of a weird dynamic. I emphasize this is not a gender issue but they continue to claim it is and tell me I’m a hypocrite b/c I’m a woman and therefore am an parental alienator….very bizarre.

      thanks for your encouragement, Charlotte. I always appreciate your voice here xoxo

  2. I really hope he doesn’t cut off his daughter. I was fourteen when my parents divorced. I was fifteen when my dad moved across the United States. I saw him a few times over the course of the following three years. I remember talking to him on the phone a few times in the beginning, and I had written to him, but all of that stopped (from his end) when I was 17 and 18. We don’t have a relationship now.

    If he can continue the visits, in a few years, his daughter will be an adult and could see him whenever she wants…if he wants her to, but if he cuts her off, he may never get that. And neither will she.
    Chrys Fey recently posted…Diverse Characters – P + Q + RMy Profile

    1. Good point, Chrys. I’m so sorry your dad didn’t follow through for you! That’s a terrible negligence on his part. You’re exactly right that if this dad doesn’t continue the visits (even though they’re not ideal), he may not have her in his life at all. I didn’t hear anything from him but I always cherish the messages when someone follows up with a success story for me.

  3. There couldn’t be a saner advice Lisa. A parent can never give up, whatever a son or a daughter feels about him/her. Having said that, I must add that a father has to understand the emotion behind alienation as daughters think like women and the moment they grow up, it is natural for them to empathise more with mother, feel attached more with her as they are more sensitive towards the agony they could have observed and experienced.
    You cannot expect attachment with a daughter if you have failed to respect and understand her mother.
    I may appear to be biased but that is my perspective.
    Balroop Singh recently posted…Finding PeaceMy Profile

    1. Interesting point, Balroop. I think that is understandable and the dad should really accept some of the distance as a temporary situation. All children need both parents sometimes one more than the other for a short time. thanks for sharing your valuable POV, Balroop. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Harleena! I always think for a while before replying 😀 Just when we think they don’t need us, that’s when they do. It’s not easy…

  4. I agree that you gave great advice.
    It breaks my heart. My kids are young but I can see my heart breaking from alienation. It would be hard for me not to also act like a child – ignore them – but I’d hope to still give gentle and reminding love.
    Tamara recently posted…5 Ways to Beat Dog BoredomMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Tamara. I can’t see this happening to you—ever. That said, it does happen to excellent parents and it really is heartbreaking. Love is always the answer 🙂

  5. Wise advice Lis. I think sometimes parents who don’t realize what it means to be a parent, other than feeling they are the parent so it shall be their way or the highway, don’t see the big picture. They shouldn’t demand attention or affection, rather, display it at every opportunity as you have so beautifully written back about already. 🙂 xx
    dgkaye recently posted…August G…uest #11: #Glutenfree baking with D.G. Kaye – Delicious Biscotti | The Recipe HunterMy Profile

    1. Very true, Deb. ‘My way or the highway’ isn’t effective—and it seems Joseph is referencing the koran…also not effective. I hope it works out for them. Thanks for stopping by today 🙂

  6. Hugs, Lisa, that advice is spot on. Do not give up! It’s hard as a human being to set aside personal feelings/reactions to difficult situations, and I hope that reader can do that. i.e. it’s painful to me when my DD1 says she thinks it’s “fun” to “keep a secret” from me that she shared with dad (see latest post), but I know it’s her way of feeling close to him (and defending him), even if it’s his way of trying to separate her and exert control. it’s such a weird dynamic. But I have to set aside my worries and just BE THERE for her, no matter what, even if she’s dramatically sighing and being an overall tween PITA, lol. My aim is to hope that she knows she is LOVED. Hugs, hugs, and more hugs to you!

    1. Thanks, Jane. It’s always a tough topic. The signs can be subtle or they can be obvious…depending. Oh, exactly. Secrets are not good and there’s no reason for them between homes. Jane, you are a role model of all the right things to do as a co-parent. Thanks for sharing here. And HUGS back to ya!

  7. I think I keep bringing this up here in the comment section but friends of ours are going through a divorce and they play it out very awkwardly through facebook. They’ve separated the kids and now they’re feeding the kids information and it’s brutal. I honestly don’t know how relationships between kids and parents recover until those kids themselves are adults and can see through the BS or counselling steps in or their is an adult friend (we aren’t that close to these people to say “HEY! you’re mucking up your relationships”)…sigh…I’m glad that you’re writing these posts Lisa. They’re going to help someone.
    Kimberly recently posted…CozyPhones Headphones For Kids ReviewMy Profile

    1. Ugh, facebook and divorce are the worst mix! I’m sure counseling will be required in their circumstance. It sounds like mom and dad are doing ALL the wrong things. That must be so hard to watch in silence, Kim. If you know the children or one of the children, maybe you CAN say something or point the mom to some resources to help her gain perspective? Sigh. I don’t know… thanks for stopping over always nice to see your smile, Kim!

  8. Wonderful advice you gave, Lisa. Parenting isn’t always easy. Always, though, we should be the bigger person, act as a parent should, with love. Children may grow to regret the alienation and want something more, but if the parent has cut them off, they’ll likely just take it as rejection.

    1. Thanks, Eli. No doubt, parenting is one of the toughest jobs (at times). You’re exactly right, Eli. The children will view it as rejection if the parent gives up. I think Chrys’s comment points to that experience.

  9. So sorry to hear of some of the disheartening comments, but good to hear your video generated talk about parental alienation. It must hurt for one to be apart from their kids, and even more if it’s forced – and the one you love doesn’t recognise you anymore. Joseph’s story is very sad, and I like your advice on not giving up. If you show you are always there for someone, even in the most random moments, I think some part of them will take notice. Circumstances change, and hopefully one day for the better.
    Mabel Kwong recently posted…What Is The Difference Between ‘Race’ And ‘Ethnicity’ In A Changing World?My Profile

    1. Yes, exactly, Mabel. I think the perseverance of being there no matter what can really make a difference. It’s not easy but in the end, will improve the relationship. Thanks for weighing in!

  10. You are so wise, Lisa. I kept thinking as I read his question “NO! Don’t cut her off!” So I was really happy to see your response…

    I can’t imagine how upsetting it would be to lose your child in a custody battle, and to have a child resent you or alienate you because of your x spouse… it all just sounds so agonizing- so I understand his angry and frustration in how his daughter is treating him.

    I just told a friend in my women’s group while cupping her face in my hands, “You can’t give up on your son. You’re his mama… Mama’s don’t quit being mamas. And you aren’t allowed to shut down no matter how long and hard this parenting road is.”
    Christine Carter recently posted…Hey There, 50! It’s Nice To Meet YouMy Profile

    1. Hi Chris, many people are in pain because of this unnecessary side effect of divorce and separation. The men who are angry and pointing fingers at all mothers are in a great deal of pain. I love the advice you gave your friend…it is so true that we can’t give up being a mother or a father…we simply CANNOT. We can take a break to heal, we can change the rules, we can set boundaries, we can give tough love—but we can’t give up. Thanks, Chris for sharing here!

  11. To have a post or video generate negative comments can be disheartening, but it’s also testament to the necessity of the topic. Thanks for sharing the advice you gave Joseph.

    1. Hi Jeri, so true about the comments. Majority of them are very positive and my video has helped so many and makes it worthwhile. I just don’t get making this into a gender issue because it is NOT and both moms and dads are suffering. Argh :/

    1. Hi Shantala, yes we do have to show that unconditional love. Some circumstances will test it though, I have to say. I’ve shared my channel here before but it’s been a while since I’ve done that. I should really add it to the follow buttons. It’s kind of gone crazy though. I keep getting comments and subscribers while I haven’t made a new video in a while. I will be making more in the future.

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