Are you a victim of parental alienation?

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Custody |

Divorcing or separating from someone you share a child with is never easy. Although you know separation is best for you and your co-parent, you might naturally still worry about the impact on your children.

You might do everything you can to make the transition easy for your children, reassuring them that you love them, you are there for them and trying to maintain a strong, close relationship. But no matter how much you try you could find your children turning against you and wonder what you are doing wrong.

The answer could be nothing

Perhaps the problem is not you, but your co-parent, who is engaging in parental alienation. This is a form of psychological warfare waged by one parent designed to turn the children against the other parent.

Your relationship with your co-parent is not expected to be perfect all the time, nor are you expected to be a perfect parent.

Signs of parental alienation

Abrupt and extreme behavior changes could signal the presence of parental alienation. If you and your children previously enjoyed a close relationship and they are now rejecting you or anything to do with you, this is a top sign of parental alienation.

The rejection can go beyond just you. Children who suddenly reject a parent and anyone associated with them, such as grandparents, are often experiencing alienation by the other parent.

Being coached by the other parent

Changes in your children are common during the custody process, but if these changes involve mimicking your co-parent, pay close attention. Your co-parent could be feeding them propaganda about you that they are now reciting back to you as if they are reading a script.

This is especially noticeable if your children are using words and phrases that are inappropriate for their age. For example, if your five-year-old starts calling you a “narcissist,” it is unlikely they learned that word as part of a school lesson. They likely heard it from your co-parent, who is trying to turn them against you.