In this tenth anniversary edition of Don’t Alienate the Kids! attorney, mediator, and therapist Bill Eddy shows readers how to protect children from the harm of alienation and high-conflict divorce, boosting their resilience by teaching them to think flexibly, manage their emotions, and moderate their behaviors.
We all know breakups can get ugly. But sometimes they can get downright vicious, with badmouthing, brainwashing, and allegations of alienation, child abuse and domestic violence, all leading to nasty custody battles.
And when they do, it’s the children who suffer most. During a high-conflict divorce or separation, kids can develop lifelong habits of all-or-nothing thinking, unregulated emotions, and extreme behaviors. Professionals who want to help may unintentionally make things worse, believing everything a parent says or taking sides.
No one can solve this problem alone. That’s because the wall of alienation between parent and child is built by:
the family’s own patterns of conflict
family court professionals who get emotionally “hooked”
society’s rapidly escalating culture of blame
But there's hope! Readers can help kids learn flexible thinking, emotion regulation, effective behaviors, and healthy relationships.
Everyone involved must work together. This book shows how parents, family members, friends, counselors, lawyers, parenting coordinators, divorce coaches, and family court judges can become part of the solution, giving children a foundation of resilience that will last a lifetime.
Bill Eddy is cofounder of the High Conflict Institute and the author or coauthor of thirteen books, including Five Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life, BIFF, and Splitting.
Part 1: Building a Wall (What to Avoid)
Chapter 1: High-Conflict Divorce
Chapter 2: Child Alienation
Chapter 3: 1000 Little Bricks
Chapter 4: Emotions are Contagious
Chapter 5: All-or-Nothing Thinking
Chapter 6: Mirroring Bad Behavior
Part 2: Building a Foundation (What to Do)
Chapter 7: Teaching Resilience
Chapter 8: Reasonable Parent's Dilemma
Chapter 9: How Family and Friends Can Help
Chapter 10: How Lawyers Can Help
Chapter 11: How Counselors Can Help
Chapter 12: The Future of Family Courts
Chapter 13: New Ways for Families
Chapter 14: Update: 2010 to 2020
Appendix A: Before You Go To Family Court
Appendix B: Yes, No, or I'll Think About It
Appendix C: Is Your Child Alienated?
Appendix D: Don't Use "Force"
Appendix E: Evaluating Sexual Abuse Reports in Family Court
Appendix F: New Ways Parent-Child Talk
About the Author
REHANA JAMAL is a conflict resolution specialist, mediator, and lawyer. She has always been fascinated by the way in which people interact, particularly in the way they communicate and navigate difficult conversations. This led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in psychology and, thereafter, a career in law and conflict resolution. Part of her work is to create and implement conflict resolution programs in schools and help reimagine a world where communities integrate conflict resolution as a guiding principle. Rehana holds an LL.M. in dispute resolution from Pepperdine Law School, a J.D. from Cardozo School of Law, and is a member of the New York State Bar. Her B.A. is in psychology from Barnard College, Columbia University. She has tremendous experience and passion working with people from different cultural, sociopolitical, and economic backgrounds.