Parental alienation can have devastating effects on a child and, unfortunately, is common in divorced couples who share children. It is possible to engage in this behavior without realizing the implications of it or how it may alter the attitude your child has toward the other parent, but you should not allow it to continue. Children crave contact with both parents, but may begin to reject the parent they spend less time with, or exhibit other behavioral changes as a result of parental alienation.
Here are some things you might be doing or saying that could cause parental alienation syndrome in your child:
- 1. When you give a child the choice regarding which parent they may visit, despite a court order or visitation schedule, you are setting up the non-residential parent for blame as to why the child cannot visit.
- 2. Confiding in your child about every aspect of your marital problems and reasons for divorce is not only destructive, but painful, and will cause the child to think badly of the other parent. You might think that divulging everything is in the service of honesty, but it will only harm your child.
- 3. Do not play the blame game in front of your child. When you blame the other parent for financial issues or for breaking up the family, this affects what your child thinks of the other parent and encourages alienation.
- 4. Tactics of manipulation, such as providing tempting offers to a child, knowing that it will interfere with a visitation schedule is harmful to the child’s relationship with the other parent. Derailing that relationship will only hurt the child in the long run.
The St. Louis County attorneys at Coulter Lambson advocate for custody plans that first and foremost protect the best interests of children and their parents. We have years of experience in various family courts and will put that experience to work for you and your family.
For compassionate and effective counsel, call (314) 309-2377. We offer free consultations.