Separations and divorces have a way of fostering a lot of negative emotions when it comes to the way children view their parents.
Under certain circumstances, things can get so bad that one parent actually becomes completely alienated from their child. At Valerie M. Little Law, we help all our clients regain control of their lives after a messy divorce. Let our team of experts educate you about some of the different signs of parental alienation and what you can do about it.
What is parental alienation?
In the aftermath of a divorce, tensions get hot. This could inspire feelings of disdain, which could eventually lead to a desire for vengeance. In cases like these, it’s not uncommon for one parent to pit their child against the other. The other parent, in this case, is referred to as a “targeted parent.” The targeted parent essentially becomes the subject of slanderous lies, which causes their own child to turn against them. The child is conditioned to believe that the targeted parent is a bad person and removes them from their life. So, what can you do about it?
Recognizing the signs of parental alienation
Before your child becomes completely absent from your life, there are certain behaviours you can observe that will let you know what’s going on:
Random displays of unjustified anger toward the targeted parent
Unrealistic reasons for their anger
Protective behaviour toward the unaffected parent
Expressions of hostility toward family and friends of the targeted parent
What can you do about it?
Here are some of the things you can do to resolve this unfortunate situation:
Address the lies and bad-mouthing: itnever helps to say nothing when your child is lashing out at you. You have to address the fact that the things being said about you aren’t true.
Encourage an open dialogue: instead ofgetting information from the unaffected parent, tell your child to speak to you directly. Always refute any information that isn’t true and encourage them to ask you questions about the things they hear from your former spouse.
Never stop reaching out: never give upon your children. No matter how bleak it seems, continue reaching out. You don’t want your child to feel abandoned. With patience and persistence, they’ll hopefully come around.