It is not unusual to have a troubled relationship with an ex-spouse following a divorce. Still, you want to cooperate as best you can with your co-parent to raise your children going forward. Unfortunately, sometimes one parent may feel such anger towards the other that the agitated parent alienates the child from the other parent.
Parental alienation is a serious issue. It can poison your child’s relationship with you and cause your child to have poor relationships with others. It may even endanger your child’s health. This is why it is important to watch for any signs that your child is suffering as a result of your ex-spouse’s actions.
How alienation may occur
The Psychiatric Times explains that parents may cause parental alienation through a variety of actions. A parent may tell a child that the other parent does not love him or her. The alienating parent might also shower a child with affection and presents while implying or flat out saying that the other parent is lacking in such affection and care.
In general, a parent may gaslight, manipulate or even coerce a child in order to turn the child away from the other parent. The consequences of these actions may include serious psychological harm to the child.
How parental alienation affects children
While parental alienation can damage your child’s relationship with you, it can also cause your child to have problems creating friendships and romantic bonds due to problems developing trust in others. Your child may also experience emotional problems, anxiety, depression, or PTSD, any of which might also create a drug or alcohol dependency. Parental alienation can also skew a child’s perception of reality and cause them to lie about other people.
In situations where there is outright abuse, a court may take away custody from the offending parent. Still, sometimes parental alienation may occur unintentionally. Since children are impressionable, they may pick up on even unintended slights against another parent. This makes setting a good example for a child paramount even in the face of a difficult family situation.