Getting divorced can complicate your relationship with your children. An adjustment to a new family dynamic, the stress of single parenting and the financial consequences can all disrupt your parenting efforts.
Focusing on your children during this unprecedented time can help you recognize serious issues including parental alienation. If your ex tries to manipulate your children into abandoning you, a proactive response might prevent that from happening.
Understanding your children
Studies show that divorce can impact children in many ways including their behavior and emotional response. Deciphering between changes in your children’s demeanor because of changes to the family dynamic versus parental alienation can get tricky. However, paying close attention can provide critical protection for them. An article shared by the National Library of Medicine reports that parental alienation is more than a manipulation strategy. It is a serious form of childhood psychological abuse. Some warning signs of alienation may include the following:
- Your children refuse to talk to you
- Your children show hatred toward you or your family
- Your children believe everything your ex says including extreme claims
- Your children lose trust in you
- Your children treat you poorly
- Your children talk badly about you to others
Protecting your children
You may feel disheartened to watch your children experience manipulation from your ex. While you want to protect them, they may reject your love and concern. One of the best things to do is to carefully document the abusive patterns. Try talking to your children and explaining to them what you have noticed. Continue to show unconditional love even if they push back. You might also consider therapy to improve your relationship with them.
Parental alienation can have serious consequences that impact your children’s psychological development and reasoning. Responding to concerns with poise can hopefully help you have the confidence to continue a relationship with them despite the situation.