When you divorce your significant other, you may be able to disentangle your life from your former partner’s without too much trouble. If you divorce your significant other and the two of you share a child, though, you may find that disconnecting your life from your ex’s proves to be more challenging.
Co-parenting may be difficult even under the most favorable of circumstances. However, if the relationship that exists between you and your ex is especially ugly or spiteful, you may have valid concerns about parental alienation possibly occurring. Just what is parental alienation, and how might you recognize it when it takes place?
Defining parental alienation
Simply put, parental alienation involves one parent intentionally “programming” a shared son or daughter to neglect, fear or dislike the other parent. Widely recognized as a form of child abuse, parental alienation often leads to a broad range of emotional issues later in life. It may cause a child to view one parent as completely bad or evil, which may lead to a full-scale rejection of that parent and possibly his or her friends and family members, too. Just how may you recognize parental alienation when it occurs?
Common parental alienation tactics
If you fear that your child may be falling victim to parental alienation tactics, you may want to keep an eye out for certain actions or behaviors. If your child’s other parent starts limiting your time or communications with your child, this may constitute parental alienation. Similarly, if your ex encourages your child to betray your trust in some manner, this may also constitute this type of behavior.
In some cases, the parent looking to alienate a shared child from the other may portray you as unsafe, unloving or unfit to be a parent. He or she may also seek to undermine your authority when it comes to the child, using any number of different tactics to do so.
If you suspect that your child is experiencing parental alienation tactics while in the care of his or her other parent, do not ignore it. Doing so has the potential to permanently hinder the relationship that exists between you and your child.