Determining a parenting plan that works for you and your co-parent can be complicated after a divorce. To make matters worse, some parents become vengeful and weaponize their children against their former spouses.
According to WebMD, a doctor introduced the concept of parental alienation in 1985. Learning how to get through parental alienation can preserve your and your children’s mental health in the future.
Signs of an alienating parent
Before you can overcome alienation, you have to recognize it. Parental alienation may begin with your spouse interfering with your parenting time. For example, he or she may plan family trips or fun events during your parenting schedule to push the kids to ask for permission to attend them. While this can happen in a healthy co-parenting relationship, parental alienation also comes with criticism of one parent. An alienator will tell the children details about the relationship or lies to manipulate the kids into disliking their other parent.
Behavioral problems with children
Children may start to act out against the alienated parent. You may notice that your kids will become upset and angry when you try to pick them up from their parents’ house. They will resist contact with you and act as if you neglect them. Even if kid enjoys their time with you, they may ask you not to tell your ex about it.
Once you see the signs of parental alienation, you can talk to the alienator. If a discussion does not help, you can move on to file a complaint to the courts. The court considers parental alienation to be a form of child abuse. You can overcome alienation through therapy and removing your kids from a toxic environment.