Parental alienation and being rejected by your child is one of the most painful experiences a divorced parent can have. Although some kids may temporarily take sides during divorce, they usually still want a relationship with the parent they’re being mad at.
But children of high-conflict divorces often have a hard time loving both parents, usually due to pressure from the alienating parent. How do you know if your child’s angry behavior is transitory, or an indication of deeper anger and parental alienation?
Here are 5 signs that he or she is being turned against you.
They only listen to the other parent. Alienated children can become so slavishly devoted to their other parent, that they will accept anything that parent says. This blind faith can make visitation nightmarish, since your child will act as if your ex is in charge, refusing to follow your house rules and often calling the other parent to enlist their aid in undermining your authority.
They refuse to acknowledge the good times. Alienated children develop selective memories; they will not acknowledge positive experiences with the alienated parent. Try as you might to remind them of sweet bedtime rituals, fun-filled vacations, or afternoons spent playing Candyland, they either deny these events ever happened, or insist they were only pretending to enjoy themselves.
They resist visitation. Does your child come up with endless excuses about why they can’t come to your house? Do they interpret your reasonable parenting interventions as “evidence” of your abusiveness, claiming that it’s not safe to visit you? If you attempt to enforce visitation, your alienated child is likely to dig their heels in even further.
They sound exactly like the other parent. Does your child mimic your ex’s phrases, regardless of whether or not they understand what they’re saying? Do they share all the other parent’s opinions, especially the negative ones about you? Alienated children confuse the alienating parent’s thoughts and feelings for their own, and parrot back the propaganda.
They don’t like anyone associated with you. You know your child is turning against you when they suddenly hate everyone in your camp. Formerly adored grandparents, long-time friends, and certainly new partners: the same individuals your child once loved hanging out with are now rejected extensions of you.
While you can’t make your alienated child want to be with you, you can take steps to heal your relationship. To learn more, read: How Do I Protect My Children From Parental Alienation?
Have questions about parental alienation? Please contact us to schedule your free and confidential consultation with one of our compassionate and highly experienced family law attorneys. Secure your future with your child. Call us today: 888-888-0919.