When a marriage becomes contentious and divorce seems inevitable, it is unfortunately common for spouses to exhibit hostility toward one another. While this is unhealthy behavior in itself, it can be especially harmful if one parent involves the children in the conflict.
Parental alienation refers to the act of one parent distancing a child from the other parent or impressing their own hostile perspective on the child. Not only can this behavior damage your relationship with your kid, but it can also damage the child’s own mental health.
What are the effects of parental alienation?
Psychologists explain that parental alienation is a form of child abuse and can even fall under the category of domestic violence by some definitions. The act of parental alienation is often a form of “revenge” against the other parent, which can make the child feel like an instrument of that vengeful feeling. This may ultimately harm the child’s self-image and hinder the formation of meaningful relationships in the future.
How can you protect your children from parental alienation?
The first step toward protecting your child is to identify parental alienation as it happens. You should then attempt to present evidence of this abusive behavior to the divorce court to ensure that the abusive parent does not claim custody over your child. In the long term, it is necessary to ensure that your child receives the mental health care they need.
The effects of parental alienation can be devastating and far-reaching for the child in question. There are steps you can take to put a stop to this behavior, but you must also make sure your child has the best possible chance at recovering from the aftermath of such blatant emotional abuse.