When your relationship with your child’s other parent ends in Arizona and there is bad blood between you, you may question whether your ex’s negative feelings toward you might impact the relationship between you and your shared child. Parental alienation occurs when one parent makes efforts to turn a shared child against the other parent. While parental alienation often damages relationships between parents and their children, it may also affect your child’s mental health and emotional well-being.
Per Psychology Today, most allegations of parental alienation arise during tough custody battles or high-conflict divorces.
How parental alienation manifests
Parental alienation may take on many forms. Sometimes, it may manifest as one parent disparaging the other. Other times, it may occur when one parent tries to restrict communications with the other or give the shared child the impression that the other parent is unfit or does not love the child. If your child begins blaming you for the divorce or making false claims about being a victim of abuse or neglect, it may be due to your former partner engaging in parental alienation tactics.
How parental alienation is harmful to kids
Kids whose parents attempt to alienate them against their other parents often feel confusion, sadness and loneliness. Children who are victims of this type of treatment also often struggle with self-esteem issues and self-hatred. They may also be more prone to substance abuse or depression than their peers who are not subjected to parental alienation tactics.
If you believe your ex is making efforts to turn the child you share against you, do not ignore it. Doing so may lead to long-term hardships, not only for you but for the child at the center of the conflict.