I want to share an absolutely true story where I took part in the brainwashing of my children when they were young.

As I was making a sandwich yesterday I realized that several years ago I took on the roll as an Alienator. Growing up I hated mayonnaise; mustard or ketchup were my preferred condiments on sandwiches, burgers and other things. Mayonnaise was a big no-no for me, I hated it for whatever reason and I still feel the same way today.

As my three kids came along I decided to “train” them so I didn’t have to look at a mayonnaise jar every time I opened the refrigerator door. It was selfish of me but the decision was easy because I could see no real health benefit if my kids became mayonnaise lovers. The alienation of mayonnaise was actually easy. At home, I and my now ex-wife just wouldn’t buy it. When we took the kids to grandmas or a restaurant I would point out the evils of mayo and they would gladly order their burgers with mustard or ketchup. It actually became a thing in our house that if someone said the word mayonnaise the kids would start screaming “you said it, now you have to eat it!!! You have to eat it, you have to eat it!!”

Since my divorce I met the love of my life, and unfortunately she’s actually a mayonnaise eater. Early on I tried to get her to quit mayonnaise but she is a little stubborn and wouldn’t honor my request. I have decided that I can live with her one little flaw. When I was able to get my youngest son to come around us he was very reserved until she offered to make him a sandwich. When she asked if he wanted mayonnaise on it he muttered under his breath “you have to eat it”. That was an awkward thing to have to explain to my fiancée.

After my divorce I became a jar of mayonnaise to my kids, and it really sucks. I made my kids fear mayonnaise to the point that they could go on the Maury Povich show and be interviewed about their strange fear of mayonnaise. They might not be traumatized at the sight of mayonnaise but they certainly see it as the evil condiment.

So yes I admit it, I’ve used alienation tactics on my own children and it worked. After experiencing being severely alienated from my kids I have to wonder, is this actually the work of the Hellmann’s company seeking revenge?

I’d like to qualify that I am not poking fun at alienation, I’m just trying to keep it light and hopefully make someone laugh out loud today. Lord knows we all need to giggle a little!!!

Published by Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis is the founder of New Paradigm Family Solutions, a client-centered coaching practice located in Central Texas. Michael’s primary focus are moms and dads dealing with the emotional trauma of high-conflict divorce, but he’s equipped to help extended family members, too. Michael relates well to his clients; he understands personally how painful and destabilizing the process of divorce can be. Having been both a business owner and a Vice President in the construction field, he is very familiar with high-conflict personalities and demanding work environments, but none of this was preparation for the turmoil and debilitating pain he would experience from separation and divorce. It was a long and difficult process, full of trials and errors, but Michael was eventually able to turn his own trauma into a catalyst for personal change. Inspired to lessen the suffering of other parents, Michael traded in his hard hat, and now helps to guide other moms and dads toward their own transformations in the midst of chaos. Michael is certified by the International Coaching Association (ICA), and has been trained by Dorcy Pruter of the Conscious Co-Parenting Institute (CCPI). He collaborates with CCPI and other professionals to stabilize clients, and to create an individualized plan for each one, based upon their unique circumstances and needs.

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  1. So I’m assuming you’ve never tried tuna fish sandwiches? If you have, I really hope you didn’t use ketchup or mustard to make it creamy. 🤢 LOL


  2. Dr Pepper is alienated at my ex-husband’s house. I love it, so it is BAD! When one of my children is feeling particularly strong when with me, they will also order this delicious beverage. I am secretly proud of that child in that moment, but also worried that one of the others will tell their father.


    1. I am a diehard Dr. Pepper drinker. My preference is buying the obese sold in glass bottles for two reasons. They are made with real sugar not corn syrup and I can put them in the freezer and frost them. There is nothing better than a Dr. Pepper in a glass bottle that is half frozen and has ice crystals.


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