When you decide to co-parent your children, your hope may be that you and your former spouse can work together to maintain your child’s best interests. Unfortunately, some parents may target their ex by harming the relationship between their child and their former partner.
What Is Parental Alienation?
In the U.S., about 50% of marriages end in divorce, and mental health can become a struggle for children living in these circumstances. However, when parents have an amicable relationship, it may ease those struggles. If your co-parent attempts to alienate you, however, it could cause detrimental harm to you and your child’s mental health.
Parental alienation is when one parent manipulates a child’s feelings and opinions about the other. This can result from bitterness, resentment, or unresolved parental conflicts. The alienating parent may cause a child to view the targeted parent negatively, causing strains to develop in the relationship.
How Can You Detect Parental Alienation?
To detect parental alienation, you may notice that the other parent wants to limit or control your access to your children. For example, he or she may impose unreasonable conditions on visitation or create scheduling conflicts. Additionally, kids may start speaking badly about the alienated parent. Your kids may view you negatively but never have one conflicting thing to say about the other parent. Kids who have an alienating parent will often have an unwavering loyalty to that parent.
If you begin to see the signs, try to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to address parental alienation. Children thrive in a positive and nurturing environment; if one parent exacerbates the conflict, you should take action against him or her.