Parental alienation: Strategies for dads who have been rejected by their children after divorce

Divorcing Well

Leanne Townsend is the founding partner of Townsend Family Law. Each month, our team sends a newsletter full of helpful tips, advice and insights to help you navigate family law challenges.

Parental alienation is a form of family violence that occurs when a child unjustly refuses contact with the targeted parent, fueled by the alienating parent’s abusive strategies.

Although the majority of high-conflict divorces do not involve family violence, a recent report by Psychology Today shows that half of first-time family violence occurs within the context of adversarial “winner takes all” divorce and the threat of parental alienation.

On a recent episode of the Divorcing Well podcast, Leanne Townsend spoke with Tracy Poizner, a mentor and parenting coach for dads experiencing parental alienation.

While there is no denying the challenge of navigating the emotional and legal aspects of these conflicts, Tracy says it is essential for fostering healthier relationships with your children.

“Your children need to know they can count on you to keep loving them. Give them what they need to survive in this terrible situation until they can find their way back to you.”

Alienated dads are sometimes tempted to disengage from children who refuse to see them, but it’s imperative to push through the discomfort by shifting your mindset away from your rights and needs onto your responsibilities.

“Get out of your comfort zone. If your daughter doesn’t want you at her dance recital, you’re going to have to do something uncomfortable and show up and tell her you’re proud of her.”

If you’re a dad navigating parental alienation, you don’t want to miss this episode.

Listen on AppleSpotify or wherever you download your favourite podcasts.


Navigating the festive season: tips for co-parenting during the first post-divorce holiday

Navigating the first holiday season post-divorce as parents requires open communication, establishing new traditions and prioritizing children’s needs.

In a recent blog, Leanne Townsend shares 10 tried-and-true tips to help newly divorced parents manage the holidays and create a positive experience for their children.

For example, she says that by clearly communicating your expectations and being willing to listen to your former spouse, you can establish a cooperative mindset that sets the stage for smoother holiday coordination.

Approaching the holidays with sensitivity creates an opportunity to forge new traditions and create positive memories for children amid the challenges of divorce.


Manifesting healing after a breakup: Six strategies to help you move forward

You might have heard about manifestation — visualizing a goal and taking necessary actions to achieve it — but you could use this practice to heal after a traumatic experience like divorce.

An article by the publication Entrepreneur outlines six steps to use manifestation to heal and push forward from this difficult time in your life.

  • Commit to achieving your goals. Don’t feel overwhelmed if there are many goals; remember to take baby steps.
  • Create a vision of your path forward. Outline what you want out of your experience and what needs healing. This could be ever-changing.
  • Alter your thoughts by replacing those self-limiting with those of self-love. Be patient and kind to yourself.
  • Try envisioning your goals visually in your mind. This could be done while meditating to reach deep within yourself.
  • Take action to make your goals a reality. Put the plans in motion.
  • Incorporate gratitude into your life by recalling what you have and why you’re thankful for it. Try reminding yourself of five things you’re grateful for daily, and you might slowly find your mood and outlook to shift more positively.

Highlights from Divorce Explained

Every week, Leanne Townsend co-hosts an Instagram Live show with family lawyer Steve Benmor, where they discuss issues on the minds of those who are divorced or divorcing. Here are the topics from a couple of recent shows. Click on the photo to check out the full episode.

Couples celebrating the end of marriage with divorce parties

Many splitting spouses are finding creative ways to celebrate the end of their marriage, including divorce parties. Join us for light-hearted musings on why divorce parties are gaining traction in this episode.

Retroactive child support: how far back can you go?

Can a parent who pays child support reclaim overpaid amounts if they realize they’ve been paying more than necessary? In this episode, we explain what happens with retroactive child support.

Join me on my health and fitness journey

Looking for more information?

Looking for more information on what to expect during a divorce, abusive relationships, love and money, life after divorce or other family law topics?

Check out the In the News and Blog sections of my website where there’s a wealth of great content to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.

Leanne Townsend, Family Lawyer

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP
Brookfield Place161 Bay Street,
Suite 2900,
Toronto, ON M5J 2S1

If you don’t wish to receive this newsletter, please hit the unsubscribe button below.
Leanne Townsend Lawyer and Divorce Coach
Leanne Townsend is a multifaceted entrepreneur and attorney experienced in the areas of family law and domestic violence. She provides a full range of family law legal services in addition to running workshops and other programs to support people as they go through divorce.

Latest News