Divorcing when you have a child together comes with unique challenges. While the court expects both parents to put their differences aside and work out a parenting plan that addresses the best interest of the child, it is not uncommon for some parents to act selfishly during and after the divorce.
Parental alienation happens when one or both parents attempt to strain the relationship between the child and the other parent. The alienating parent usually displays unjustified negativity towards the other parent with the goal of turning the child’s emotions against the alienated parent. But how do you prove parental alienation?
Here are two signs of parental alienation that you need to look out for.
Using the child as a spy
Sometimes, the alienating parent may choose to engage the child to spy on the other parent’s phone or lifestyle. Often, the alienating parent will make the whole process seem like the information they are obtaining through the child is vital for the child’s welfare. For instance, the child may want a new pair of shoes, and the alienating parent may say something like, “I don’t have money right now, but I guess your dad does. How about you check his wallet?” And, once the child breaks trust with the other parent, they will likely feel guilty and withdrawn from the alienated parent.
Belittling the alienated parent
Fabricated or not, remarks like “Your father has never had time for you” or “Your mother believes you are a burden to her” can have a serious emotional impact on the child. A subtle remark, like “You know I would love to take you to the movie every weekend if only your dad gave us enough money,” can certainly make the child resentful toward their father. After all, the child has no way of telling the mother’s real intentions.
Divorce is a difficult undertaking for everyone involved. However, knowing the telltale signs of parental alienation can help you address the matter in time and preserve your relationship with your child.