If you’re separated from your children’s parent, then you’ve probably experienced some awkward moments: Learning how to co-parent and communicate are no easy feat, especially among two adults who may have resentful feelings towards one another.
But sometimes, the children begin to replicate ill feelings towards one parent, even if they’ve had an otherwise good relationship. In this blog post, we’ll dive into why children take sides against a parent — and what you can do to remedy it.
There are a few reasons why children might suddenly take sides against a parent:
When a parent influences their children to think or feel a certain way about the other parent, this may be a type of parental alienation — even if it’s done subconsciously. Unfortunately, parental alienation is highly mentally and emotionally damaging to everyone involved.
Parental alienation is an emotional and mental manipulation performed by a trusted person on a child who may not know any better.
Children tend to have rose-colored glasses when it comes to their parents, so it’s easy for them to fall into this type of manipulation. In fact, some argue that this is a type of child abuse.
Studies show that the consequences of parental alienation are monumental. Children who experienced parental alienation during their childhoods may experience these factors as adults:
As you can see, three out of four of the expected outcomes of parental alienation are damaging to a person’s mental well-being — which is why this syndrome is critical to identify and reverse as quickly as possible.
If you suspect you and your child are victims of parental alienation, there are steps you can take.
For starters, speak to an experienced family therapist who can identify and heal the relationship between you and your child. You could also speak with your child and encourage open communication and honesty to promote safety. If you’re on decent terms with the other parent, express your concerns and try to work towards a shared goal of healthy parenting.
However, if the alienation feels beyond repair or it’s challenging to work with your ex-spouse, you might need to bring in experts from the court of law. Family law attorneys can help enforce parenting plans, create your case for a judge, and document everything that happens between you, your child, and the other parent.
With decades of expert experience in family law, Hickey & Hull Law Partners are not strangers to the phenomenon that is parental alienation. Our goal is to represent you and protect your family, so if you want to learn more about how we can help, fill out our online form. You can also call us anytime: Our River Valley office number is 479.434.2414, and our Northwest Arkansas number is 479.802.6560.