After your divorce, it is understandable for you and your ex-spouse to both harbor feelings of anger, resentment and sadness. If your ex tries to “get back” at you by turning your children against you, it could irreparably damage your relationship with them, as well as cause lasting psychological damage to your children. You and other Ohio parents should understand the devastating consequences of parental alienation.
According to Psychology Today, parental alienation occurs when one parent uses the children as pawns against the other one. Often, although not always, the custodial parent is the one to use these tactics. The following points can help you understand more about this unfortunately common behavior:
- The alienating parent may make frequent comments to the children to discredit and blame the other parent for his or her parenting ability or things that went wrong during the marriage.
- He or she may make false accusations to make the other parent look bad and him or her look like the better parent in comparison.
- The parent using these emotional tactics is usually the least healthy, emotionally.
- He or she may attempt to restrict the other parent’s time spent with the children.
- The alienating parent often tells the children that his or her actions are meant to protect them from an abusive or unfit parent.
The immediate and long-term effects of parental alienation can be heartbreaking. Your children might miss you at first, only to start believing their other parent’s words until they no longer wish to have a relationship with you. This can last well into their adult years. Many grown children who were victims of one parent’s alienation techniques have difficulty forming a relationship with the alienated parent later in life, as well as developing healthy relationships of their own.
As you can expect, parental alienation often cannot be resolved on its own and may necessitate assistance from the court.