If one parent is trying to distance their children from the other parent, there may be signs of parental alienation. Attempts to alienate a child from a parent can be made for a variety of reasons, but the result is always negative for the child. If this is happening in your life, contact a child custody lawyer right away. Law Offices of Rick D. Banks can help. Call us at 559-222-4891.
Common Reasons for Parental Alienation
A parent may attempt to alienate a child from the other parent for an array of reasons. One of the most common is to punish the other parent for a perceived wrongdoing. If a parent wants to cause a problem for the other parent, they may take negative actions with the children involved.
Another cause of alienation may be a personality disorder that causes the alienating parent to respond to stressful situations in irrational manners. If parents are arguing and one parent is not able to communicate well because of a mental illness or disorder, they may attempt alienation to gain favor from the child.
Signs of Parental Alienation
Parental alienation may even be considered a syndrome if it becomes extreme in one parent. Common symptoms or signs include the following:
Making Children Angry at the Other Parent
A parent may criticize the other parent in order to make the children angry at them. For example, if a parent says they can’t afford new school clothes because the other parent used the money on a fancy new car, then they may be attempting to make the children upset at the other parent. Other common statements may be made about why the relationship didn’t work or how inconsiderate the other parent has been towards the family. This is often an attempt to use the child to get back at the other parent.
Speaking Badly of the Other Parent in Front of the Child
Even if an alienating parent does not make negative comments to the child directly, if comments are made within hearing distance of the child, they may develop anger towards the other parent. In these situations, the alienating parent often sees themselves as a “good person,” and they rarely take responsibility for their actions in the failing relationship. This amounts to passive aggressive actions towards the other parent.
Sharing Inappropriate Details with the Child
When a parent gives children details about divorce or parental conflict that should not be shared, they may be making attempts at alienation. This can cause a child to feel anger towards the other parent, and may make them feel responsible for the situation.
Using Body Language to Convey Negative Messages About the Other Parent
Rolling one’s eyes or shaking one’s head regarding things about the other parent can also send a negative message to children about the other parent. Children understand body language and alienation can occur through its use.
Even if a relationship falls apart, two parents should still work together to provide care for their children. Co-parenting is an important part of a child’s life. If a parent refuses to be agreeable and make arrangements with the other parent, they may be alienating.
False Accusations of Abuse
Alienating parents often make false accusations of abuse, creating a negative situation in the minds of the children and the court. This can cause legal problems for the other parent as well as alienation from children.