A child’s position in the middle of their parents’ conflict is a scary and uncertain place to be in. As parents, it’s important to ensure that you and your spouse are not participating in parental alienation, as doing so will only exacerbate your child’s pain in an already difficult time.
What is Parental Alienation?
Parental Alienation occurs when one parent works to impair the relationship between the other parent and child. It is typically the result of one parent trying to manipulate the child into despising or removing the other parent from his/her life. Parental alienation is caused by one parent’s hatred, fear or disrespect for the other parent and is a major concern in today’s family law matters.
Parental Alienation can come in many forms, including the following:
- Slandering of the other parent
- Limiting or denying child access for the other parent
- Instilling irrational fear in the child of the other parent
- Removing the child from the other parent
- Displaying negative body language towards the other parent
- Allowing the child to speak negatively about the other parent
- Using the child as a messenger between parents
How Parental Alienation negatively affects your child
It is important to be aware that parental alienation is not in the best interest of the child. A child requires healthy and loving relationships with both parents to ensure their long-term welfare. Parental alienation can cause depression, substance abuse, self-hatred, and self-doubt in your child. It has been noted that parental alienation can have substantial negative impact on a child and can affect the child in their own parental relationships in the future.
How you and your spouse can best communicate with your child
It is best that as parents, you ensure both you and your spouse avoid any form of parental alienation with your child. Both you and your spouse should maintain regular contact with your child and ensure that communication is always positive and conflict-free. In addition, it can be helpful to speak positively about your spouse with the child to ensure that they still feel comfortable with both you and your spouse.
Did this article answer your questions or concerns about parental alienation? If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers regarding further issues related to child custody or access please contact us at (416) 840-1475 or schedule your free initial consultation here.