Divorce is never easy, but it can be even more difficult when children are caught in the middle. There is often a lot of tension and bitterness between the parents, and one parent can sometimes try to turn the child against the other.
If you’re going through a divorce and want to avoid this problem, there are several things you can do to protect your children.
Signs to watch out for
Signs of possible parental alienation include:
- Constant criticism of the alienated parent
- Extreme loyalty to the other parent
- The child doesn’t feel guilty for hurting their parent
One parent alienating their child from the other parent can be seen as emotional or psychological abuse and lead to long-term negative consequences. However, it is important not to confuse it with your child being difficult or distant from one parent for other reasons. They may have a valid reason due to something that their parent did, or it may just be the types of personality conflicts so common when children become teenagers with minds of their own.
What if it is real?
The best way to prevent the escalation of parental alienation is to recognize it and treat it in its earliest stages. A judge may require you and your spouse to attend parenting classes or family therapy for everyone to learn how to communicate better. In severe cases, the judge may remove the child from the alienating parent’s custody.
If you are going through a divorce and there is a risk of parental alienation, it is crucial to take steps to prevent it from happening. The best way to do this is by working together with your ex-spouse to create a parenting plan that puts the child’s needs first.