Child custody situations are complicated, and even parents who generally have an amicable relationship may with each other may struggle with child custody sometimes. Additionally, children with separated or divorced parents face a unique set of challenges, which may manifest themselves in different ways.
If a child starts acting out, or displaying a negative attitude toward one parent, it can be difficult to tell if it is a natural reaction to a complex situation, or something more. A parent may begin to wonder if they are a victim of parental alienation syndrome, which occurs when one parent uses manipulation techniques to intentionally isolate a child from the other parent.
Watch out for this type of behavior
Parental alienation syndrome brainwashes a child into viewing the other parent as an enemy. If your child exhibits the following behavior, you may be a victim of parental alienation syndrome:
- Consistently criticizing you for no specific reason
- Stating things about you that are false
- Saying that no one told them to feel this way, and these feelings are all their own
- Steadfastly defending the other parent and their actions
- Using adult phrases that a child typically would not know
Another alarming sign of parental alienation syndrome occurs when a child appears to feel no shame about criticizing you as a parent, but accepts you being the “bad parent” as a fact.
There are also many signs to look for in the parent who you believe may be alienating the child. The other parent may discuss inappropriate topics with the child, which are meant to be discussed with other adults, such as your perceived bad choices or behavior. They may lie to the child, telling them you do not want to talk to them, while actively preventing you from communicating with your child.
If you are seeing any of this behavior from your child’s other parent, you may be a victim of parental alienation syndrome. An attorney can provide further guidance, to help you maintain a strong relationship with your child.