When your North Carolina marriage breaks down, or when you have a child with someone who is not your spouse and that relationship sours, both of you may have hurt feelings. Sometimes, one parent’s hurt feelings or distaste for the other may trickle over and start impacting the shared child’s feelings about the other parent through a process known as parental alienation.
According to Psychology Today, parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to manipulate the shared child into rejecting or expressing ill will toward the other parent. Parental alienation has the potential to do lasting damage to parent-child relationships. It also has the potential to impact your child’s mental health.
How to recognize parental alienation tactics
Parental alienation tactics might include anything from limiting communications between you and your child to having your ex tell your son or daughter you are unworthy, unfit or even dangerous. If your ex spends time trash-talking you in the presence of your child, this may count as parental alienation. Making threats or withdrawing affection from a child who fails to reject you may also constitute parental alienation.
What to do when parental alienation occurs
You may be wise to take prompt action if you believe your child’s other parent is engaging in parental alienation tactics. You may want to consider having an attorney file a motion paving the way for psychological evaluations involving you, your ex and the child you share to assess how much damage might be occurring.
You do not have to let your ex’s anger interfere with the relationship you share with your child.