Co-parenting after divorce can be extremely stressful, especially if there is bad blood between the parents. When parents cannot see eye-to-eye regarding the custody plan, it is not uncommon for one or both parties to resort to actions that can be detrimental to the child’s wellbeing. One such action is parental alienation.
Basically, parental alienation happens when one parent intentionally portrays unjustified negativity targeted at the other parent to the child. The primary goal of the alienating parent is to damage the child’s relationship with the other parent.
Here are two questions that can help you determine if the other parent is creating a rift between you and your child.
Are they coaching the child to lie?
During a custody case, the court may sometimes ask the child to give testimony. If this happens, the alienating parent may coach the child to give false testimony against the other parent. They might coach the child to lie that the other parent is abusive or wants nothing to do with them. As the child begins to process and believe these lies, they will become resentful toward the alienated parent.
Is the child exhibiting hostile behavior?
The lies perpetuated by the alienating parent can lead the child to express hostility to the alienated parent. Remember, children are easy to manipulate, and if they are made to believe that the other parent hates and wants nothing to do with them, then they might rebel against the other parent. They can exhibit this rebellion by refusing to speak or even taking instruction from the alienated parent.
Divorce can be a difficult undertaking. If your ex is alienating you from your child, it is important that you take appropriate steps to safeguard the child’s best interests as well as your rights.