Hi there, and welcome back. We’ve been discussing the issue of parental alienation, and how your ex can manipulate your kids into changing their minds about how they feel for you. It sounds inconceivable, but it happens more often than you’d believe, and the results are truly tragic. In the previous article we discussed the three most commonly used tools by toxic parents to alienate their child’s other parent, but how exactly are they using those tools?
Look for the red flags during arguments with your child:
Chances are, you’re never going to hear your ex telling your child a poisonous lie about you. What you will see is your child slowly pulling away from you emotionally. Getting angrier with you for reasons you don’t understand, and accusing you of things you didn’t do. It’s those accusations (usually made by angry tweens and teens during arguments) that’ll provide your clues about what’s going on. If you ever hear your kid say this to you, you know they’re probably spouting something their other parent told them…
- “It’s all your fault! Mom never comes to my games anymore because she has to work so much or we won’t be able to afford anything any more!”
- “Why do you have to ruin everything!? I didn’t even get the only thing I wanted for my birthday because dad can’t afford it because you left and destroyed our family!”
- “You’re the worst parent in the world! First you run off and leave us, and now mom is so busy doing everything by herself and she’s mad all the time! My life sucks!”
- “I hate you! You wonder why I never call while I’m at dad’s house? Because it makes him so sad when I talk to you, and I don’t want to make it worse for him! You already made it bad enough!”
Kids don’t know when they’re being manipulated…
For younger children, it can be harder to find the obvious warning signs. Younger kids may not have the vocabulary to express what they’re feeling, or know how to explain what they think. But the subtle signs are sometimes still visible. Their increasing coldness. Their anger at you. Not wanting to have fun with you, or do things together that they used to enjoy. Claiming they’re bored at your house and they want to go back to the other parent’s home.
Don’t be the bad guy – keep toxic behaviors in check!
Parents need to remember that children are essentially the product of two people, and by disparaging a child’s parent, one is disparaging part of that child. No matter how awful your ex is, we recommend you exercise respect and caution when speaking about your ex in front of your child. It would be awful if you were accused of being toxic, or attempting to alienate your ex!
Parental alienation is a type of child abuse!
Parental alienation in the wake of divorce isn’t as uncommon as you’d hope, and can make the divorce process extremely emotionally damaging for both the child, and the rejected parent. If you’re in the middle of a messy divorce and your soon-to-be-ex is turning your children against you, contact us immediately at 866 766 5245. This situation will only get worse until drastic measures are taken to reverse or halt the abuse process. Contact our skilled and experienced family law attorneys, and let us help you save your relationship with your children.