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Recognizing parental alienation

After divorce, you may believe that the fight is over. While this may prove true in some respects, when it comes to your children, things may get worse instead of better. If your divorce was particularly emotional and filled with conflict, you may find that co-parenting in the wake of it challenging.

If your ex is angry, you may start to notice your children’s behavior change. One of the possible side effects of a rough divorce is parental alienation. Learn about this phenomenon so you can spot the signs.

What is parental alienation?

When one parent harbors ill feelings toward the other, he or she may begin a process of turning the kids against the targeted parent. This is not something that happens overnight and is often difficult to spot at first. However, if an intervention does not occur sooner rather than later, the children’s relationship with the alienated parent may suffer permanent damage.

How does parental alienation occur?

It may start as comments about the other parent. These statements almost always have a negative undertone and may gradually get worse over time. For instance, a parent may say, “Your father should have picked you up by now, but I guess he has better things to do.” The comment infers that the father is late because he does not care about getting the kids. As time goes on, the statements become more frequent and often laced with lies.

Can parental alienation stop?

If you believe your ex is unduly influencing the way your children feel about you, it may warrant further investigating. Take your children to a psychologist and see what they reveal. Your ex may have scared them into thinking disclosing statements made at their house may lead to trouble, so patience is key. A professional may help get to the truth, and if parental alienation is happening, you may need to take the fight to court.

Trying to parent children after a divorce depends on many contributing factors. If an ex unfairly paints you in a negative light to win your children’s devotion, you may have to go back to court to do what is best for your kids.

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