as I analyze what has happened to end up an alienated mom is the question above.
When my daughter was around twelve she asked this question a few times – “when do I get to decide where I want to live?” or “when do I get to pick where I live?”and “how old do I need to be before I can decide where I can live?”
I would discuss this with her and my final answer would always be that the right thing to do is to see both your Mother and your Father. I believed that was the right answer but in hindsight I wonder where she would get the idea that she was supposed to choose between parents. Both of us love her – I would tell her and she has two families and she should spend time with both. I do remember early in her grade 8 year, she asked the question again but interjected a little spin . . . “this is my home, I grew up here right?” I said yes, that is true and perhaps she did feel more of a bond to the home she grew up in but it seemed a strange thing to say. She did ask again how old she needed to be to decide where she can live and this time it was also met with her asking “when can I decide to just live here?” I told her that would not happen – she needs to spend time with both her Mom and Dad and both families – that is the right thing to do. Now in hindsight I realize that at her age she may have questions like this but I believe that this seed must have been planted. There must have been something said that would make her think this. What could it have been?
Ultimately the choice was made – she decided to live with her Dad and her Stepmother but this meant NEVER having a relationship with me – her Mother!
Alienation tactic: teaching the child that it is ok to choose between parents