Childhood betrayal is a very sensitive topic that is rarely touched upon. For this episode, we’ll be taking a deeper look into how children can experience betrayal through family conflicts like divorce and custody battles with the help of Tracy Poizner.

Tracy is a parenting coach and the host of the Weekly Essential Stepmom Podcast. Through her personal experience as a parent, she helps families minimize trauma to their children by putting them as far away from the conflict as possible.

About Guest/Topic

Tracy Poizner has been through almost all stages of parenthood, including parental alienation, long-distance parenting, legal difficulties, mental health issues, total loss of contact, and full-time physical custody.

It is her life’s mission to help stepmoms like her minimize conflict, find peace, and achieve justice in the face of divorce and custody issues. She does this by sharing her experiences with those who are still navigating the rocky path of step-parenthood.

This episode is for stepmoms who are finding it hard to overcome parental alienation from their step-children. Tracy shares her expertise and experience to help step-parents put the child’s well-being first.

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In This Episode

  • Learn the three different types of betrayal a child goes through during family conflicts—emotional blackmailing, brainwashing, and gaslighting
  • Discover the two kinds of situations parents can look out for to help avoid parental alienation
  • Learn how children should be kept away from marital conflicts, such as divorce and separation
  • Understand how family conflicts can affect a child
  • Understand how children can feel betrayed at court and how the court is the worst place to settle a family situation
  • The difference between consensus and compromise
  • Learn Tracy’s 5 Cs framework about communicating to children in a non-verbal way—consistency, contact, cooperation, credibility, and consensus


“I’m saddened to say that I think I’ve heard about 80% of kids from divorced households are experiencing some level of parental alienation.” [2:58]

“Parents forget that a child is created from half-mother and half-father. That’s a biological reality. There’s no way of getting around that.” [4:26]

“When you, even subtly, suggest that a child should reject some of their other parent, you are asking them to reject half of themselves, which they will gladly do because that’s how we’re wired.” [4:47]

“A child shouldn’t ever be made to feel responsible for your feelings.” [6:46]

“A person can be a terrible spouse and still be a good parent.” [8:45]

“Gaslighting is betraying a sacred trust between a parent and a child that the child can only believe that the parent always has their best interests at heart. And where a parent would deliberately manufacture an appearance of reality to manipulate a child’s deeply held belief system—that’s really cruel and horrible.” [13:14]

“Courts are possibly the worst place to live out this kind of family situation… I think the whole setup is wrong. The whole setup is a pure adversarial terrain. It’s not set up for any kind of consensus or compromise. It’s just a decision, and usually, nobody is completely happy.” [24:58]


Tracy Poizner’s email – tracy@tracypoizner.com

Tracy Poizner’s website

The PBT Institute Membership Community

The Post Betrayal Syndrome Quiz

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Dr. Debi Silber of The PBT Institute: 5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change