Going through a divorce is rough on everyone in the family. Unfortunately, some co-parents take this difficult time as a chance to sow chaos. A co-parent with a bone to pick may decide that now is the best time to destroy your potentially fragile relationship with your child.
This is parental alienation, and it is a real issue parents everywhere face every day. Are you seeing signs that could indicate you and your child have fallen victim?
The abusive nature of parental alienation
The Psychiatric Times discusses the tragic impact parental alienation has on families everywhere. Parental alienation occurs when one parent ruins your relationship with your child. The reasons for doing so vary from case to case. Often, it stems from feelings of jealousy, anger or bitterness from the divorce.
Alienating parents often resort to surprising and malicious tactics to alienate you from your child. They may outright lie about you, such as claiming you do not love your child anymore. They may drop personal information about you that children should not hear. They can gaslight, manipulate and create false scenarios all to ruin your reputation.
Signs of abuse
This damage extends far into a child’s adult life. Many courts even classify this as a form of child abuse. The signs often begin to show early, though. First, you will likely notice your child display reluctance to spend time with you. This reluctance may grow more severe as time goes on.
Next, they will often parrot back reasons for disliking you that make no sense. They may also give reasons they could not have possibly thought up on their own. Their words may sound rehearsed or scripted. They will often vehemently deny the involvement of your co-parent too, saying this is all their idea.
If you notice such signs, consider taking your case to a legal expert. They can help direct you with where to go after this point.