Parental Alienation has been a topic of consideration for many years and has brought about a lot of controversy. It is usual that one parent would cause the alienation of the other parent; however, some parents bring about the alienation with their own behavior, or, usually it a combination of both. So how can you tell if your ex is trying to alienate you from your children?
You might have an alienating ex if…
If you ever hear your kids saying things like, “Daddy told me you’re a bitch” you might have an ex who is trying to alienate you from your kids.
If you call his house to speak to the kids and your ex doesn’t pass along the message or give them the phone, you might have an ex who is trying to alienate you from your kids.
If your ex encourages your kids to point out your faults, you might have an ex who is trying to alienate you from your kids.
If your ex convinces your kids that you do not love and have never loved or cared for them, you might have an ex who is trying to alienate you from your kids.
Basically, if your kids start acting differently around you or start to act more disrespectful than usual, it might be time for a discussion. If it becomes evident that your ex is badmouthing you, or if he is trying to convince the kids that it’s more fun at dad’s or he makes better dinners or he is better at helping with homework, these are signs your ex is trying to alienate you from your kids.
What to do if your ex tries to alienate your children:
Make sure your kids know they do not have to choose one or the other of their parents to love, care about, and want to spend time with. Make sure they know they do not have to feel guilty for having fun with the other parent or enjoying their time together. They should know they do not have to be a messenger between their parents, nor do they have to limit what they say in front of one parent or the other.
When one parent attempts to alienate the other, it is usually due to their own insecurities and not based on their children’s best interest. However, sometimes parental alienation is necessary. If a parent is guilty of sexually abusing (or any other type of abuse), it is necessary for the other parent to protect their child against the accused until such time that it is deemed safe for the child to see their parent again.
Similarly, if there is someone else living with the other parent that might be a threat to your child, there might be cause for alienating your child from that person. If the other parent suffers from a mental illness and could potentially be a threat to your child, or a threat to himself when with your child, it might give cause for giving some distance between your child and his/her dad. The same rules could apply if the other parent is an active drug addict or alcoholic.
There are certain, legitimate reasons why one would try to create space between their child and their ex. There are also other instances when there is no legitimate reason in terms of safety, but the other parent is deliberately trying to create space and distance between the child and the other parent.
These are the times parental alienation must be addressed for the sake of the children. You do not have to stand by and let your ex continue to badmouth you to your kids. You have a voice and a duty to your children to stand up for yourself and make sure your kids know the truth about who you are, not just what their dad says about you.