When we set out for marriage, none of us intend on divorcing our partner, however, for many reasons, divorce unfortunately happens. When it does and kids are involved, there are certain situations in which parental alienation takes place, and more often than not, this is absolutely a form of emotional abuse.
Before anyone comes for me, let me be clear: this article is not written for people who are dealing with an ex-spouse that has been removed from their child’s life for a valid reason. I know there are circumstances in which a parent should not be allowed around their child. Instead, this article is focused on the parents that are alienated from their children because their ex is still holding on to resentment, either about the divorce or other relationship problems that lead to or followed the divorce.
After a divorce takes place, there is often a lot of anger and resentment between the two parents, especially if the divorce ended on a bad note. In many cases, one parent (the parent who is holding onto the resentment) will begin a smear campaign about the other parent to their child. They will lie, manipulate, and work diligently to make their child despise the other parent. This is called parental alienation.
Due to this manipulation, the child may grow to despise the other parent, and in many cases, the child will refuse to be around their other parent. Typically, you may notice that the child will use the same language the attacking parent uses against the alienated parent. And in some cases, the attacking parent will even go as far as to guilt-trip their children into rejecting the alienated parent.
Unfortunately, no one pays a greater price than the children involved in a situation like this. This is flat-out child abuse. And much like other forms of abuse, it comes with a price. According to research, children who are pushed to alienate their other parents are likely to also deal with the following:
– Difficulty maintaining relationships in the future.
– An impaired self-image.
– Guilt, anxiety, and depression about their relationship with the alienated parent.
– A lack of impulse control.
– Problems in school & with their education in general.
The attacking or alienating parent is the only person who benefits from such disturbing behavior. The alienated partner/parent suffers from the abuse dealt by the attacking parent and so do the children. For the child, their sense of family, community, and connection is torn apart, bit by bit, by the attacking parent. In most cases, this causes a cycle of anxiety and guilt that will ultimately carry into their adult lives.