Most parents want the best for their children; however, their feelings about their children’s other parents sometimes get in the way. In some cases, people may even go so far as to try to adversely affect their child’s relationship with his or her other parent.
Understanding issues such as parental alienation may help people identify it before it gets out of hand, so they may preserve and protect their parent-child relationships.
What is parental alienation?
Parental alienation involves people tearing away at the relationships between their children and their children’s other parents. To this end, they may damage the relationship, punish the child for pursuing a connection with his or her other parent, or otherwise make it difficult for the child to maintain a connection with his or her other parent.
How does parental alienation happen?
According to Psychology Today, parental alienation begins when a parent puts unusual pressure on a child to support him or her. Taking on the thoughts and emotions of the alienating parent, roles reverse, and the parent consumes the emotional care while the child provides it. Eventually, the child takes on the viewpoints of the alienating parent.
How does parental alienation affect the kids?
According to Healthline.com, parental alienation may affect child development and behavior in various ways. Some of the most common behaviors exhibited by children alienated from one parent may include the following:
- Having a divisive mentality or seeing things as black and white
- Having a skewed view of reality
- Lying about others
- Experiencing increased anger
- Lacking empathy
- Having heightened feelings of neglect
While parents may not get along, children largely benefit the most by having connections with both their parents. Knowing the signs of issues such as parental alienation and taking steps to avoid them may help people preserve their familial relationships, even after a separation or divorce.