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Beyond the High Road: Responding to 17 Parental Alienation Strategies without Compromising Your Morals or Harming Your Child
If you are concerned that you are being targeted for parental alienation by the other parent of your child, you may feel compelled to take what you believe to be is the "high road" when responding to parental alienation attitudes and behaviors. According to conversations with hundreds of targeted parents, this high road appears to be conceptualized as not confronting the alienating parent in front of the child and not saying anything that could be construed as critical about the alienating parent to the child. The rationale for this approach appears to be three-fold. First, targeted parents seem to believe that to respond with anything short of the high road would entail behaving like an alienating parent, which would be morally and ethically wrong. They believe that they would lose their moral authority with themselves and their child. This belief is summed up in the old adage "Two wrongs don't make a right." Targeted parents have asked, "How can I complain about the other parent badmouthing me and then respond by badmouthing that parent?" For some targeted parents, they identify themselves as the "good" parent, the one who does not engage in alienating behaviors. To succumb to the desire to respond in kind to the alienation is to become the very thing that they hate the most. The second reason for taking what is perceived to be the high road is the fear that should they try to point out to the child how the other parent is engaging in badmouthing and why this is wrong, they would be increasing the pressure on their child and placing him or her in an untenable position of having to explain, justify, or perhaps even defend the acts of their other parent. Targeted parents are highly attuned to what they believe to be the negative effects of the other parent's alienating strategies and are reluctant to do more of the same to the child.