Turning your child against the other parent will backfire

Published on January 8, 2021

A family going through divorce or separation

Lila was a woman who did not believe in divorce.  Lately, she had been arguing more with her husband, Mike.  He had asked for a divorce, and she refused.  Mike decided that he would move out.  After a week of him out of the house, she received a letter from his solicitor.  Infuriated, she began telling their two children that their father had abandoned them, and what a horrible man he was.  She decided that she would not co-operate, and Mike would never see his children again.

Lila hired her own solicitor, and in her court paperwork, she made false accusations that he had abused her and the children.  The children started to believe that their father had hurt their mother.  The children no longer wanted to see Mike or his family.

This hurt the children because they loved their father, and now, they thought he was abusive.  They grieved their father and wondered how he could do that.  They became angry with him and hated the part of their identity that was like his.  Like his last name, his family and even having the same eye colour as him.

This hurt Lila because the courts found out that the accusations were false.  Lila and Mike spent over a year and hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees.  Both were stressed and frustrated.  The children both suffered psychological damage and had to undergo psychological treatment.  The process had hurt the entire family.

Healthy ways to cope

If you are feeling hurt by a divorce or a separation, there are healthy ways to cope with anger, shame, and feelings of loss and trauma.  Children must be able to have a healthy and secure relationship with both parents to be psychologically healthy.  Children are resilient when they have adults that they can turn too.  If a child feels like one parent will be hurt or angry if they talk to the other parent, they might feel conflicted and develop anxiety or depression.  Your child is half you and half your partner.  If this is something that you are struggling to reconcile mentally, it is best to seek professional health so that the children do not suffer.


If this is something that you have been through or are going through and would like to set up an appointment with me please contact +852 2521 4668 or email info@doctormonicaborschel.com You can book a private or Skype session.

Photo by Mikail Duran on Unsplash

Category(s):Divorce / Divorce Adjustment, Emotional Abuse, Ending a relationship issues, Parenting

Written by:

Dr Monica Borschel

Registered Clinical Psychologist (HK)

Dr. Borschel specializes in Attachment, trauma and Loss. She is experienced in helping adults, teens, children, and families adjust to anxiety, trauma, abuse, divorce, separation, loss of a loved one, and loss of finance. This may include deciding what is in the best interest of the children during custody disputes, strengthening the relationship and communication between the parents and the children.

From Nov 2020 Dr. Borschel is only available for online consultations.

Dr. Borschel’s attachment-based therapy along with EMDR and Brainspotting enables her clients to find healing within themselves. In so doing, she can help her clients to overcome anxiety, trauma, neglect, emotional, verbal, physical abuse, and child abuse.

Furthermore, as an attachment specialist, she also helps individuals understand relationship patterns which prevent them from developing or maintaining healthy relationships. She is able to help reduce anxiety, insomnia, depression and promote confidence and self-esteem.

Dr. Borschel is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. She graduated with her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University in New York City. She later moved to Hong Kong to pursue her doctorate at the University of Hong Kong in Social Work and Social Administration.

Registered Clinical Psychologist with The Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology (HKSCP). Member of the American Psychological Association (APA), The British Psychological Society (BPS), and the Hong Kong Family Law Association (HKFLA).

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