Sometimes separated parents are faced with the situation of a child not wanting to talk with a parent. These are frequently challenging and upsetting situations. It is not uncommon for one parent to blame the other, and when that happens, parental conflict escalates and the solution to the actual problem becomes more elusive.
When parents blame each other, it often results in one saying that the other is alienating the child. Not wishing to be blamed for such a thing, the parent blamed with alienating says the child is estranged from the other parent because of issues arising from that other parent.
Rather than ascribing blame, parents are advised to seek solutions instead of attributing who is responsible for what. To this end parents may be better off seeking counselling to understand the issues at play interfering with the child’s desire to speak with a parent.
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Interestingly, it may even come about that neither parent is actually to blame.
In some situations, the child is just trying to play one parent against the other to get what they what and may be trying to hold a parent hostage with threatening the relationship to get their way. Indeed, these situations are common and even happen in intact well-functioning families.
In other situations, a child may have inadvertently heard something about a parent that causes distress, or a parent may be more recently involved in a new relationship to which the child has not adjusted.
In other words, there are many reasons a child may not wish to speak with a parent. If there is existing anger or animosity between parents, it may lead to first each blaming the other rather than seeking to figure out what lies beneath the child’s behaviour.
Bottom line; be careful not to rush to conclusions. Seek counselling to come to an understanding, and find strategies to make things better. If the other parent is unwilling to support counselling, continue to resist blaming that parent in favour of trying to get everyone to be involved is a problem-solving approach, such as counselling. If you use a lawyer to help facilitate the counselling, continue to resist laying blame.