In an ideal situation, you and your former spouse will remain close to your children following a divorce. You find ways for both parents to stay in close contact and to have an essential role in the child’s life.
Suppose your children begin to identify strongly with only one of their parents and start showing hate and anger towards you for no justifiable reason. In that case, you may be the victim of parental alienation. According to WebMD, parental alienation occurs when one parent manipulates children to reject the other.
What are the signs of parental alienation?
When parental alienation occurs, your children will have sudden, unjust criticism towards you. After a divorce, children may experience anger, but the type of anger during parental alienation seems unfair and harsh. Kids will have no good things to say about you but will have unwavering support towards the alienating parent.
No matter what they say to you, they will not feel guilty. They may say cruel things and never apologize for it. If they do have fun with you, they may ask you never to tell the other parent.
How can you treat parental alienation?
In mild cases of parental alienation, a counselor or parenting coordinator can help improve communication between two parents. However, the court may have to remove children from the alienating parent in more severe cases. Parental alienation is a form of abuse. In these cases, you may become the custodial parent. The other parent may have supervised visitation.
Parental alienation can become complex because children may see reunification as punishment. Working with the legal system and mental health professionals is crucial to the process.