Co-parenting with someone with whom you no longer share a romantic relationship can prove difficult even under the best possible circumstances. However, if you are also co-parenting with someone who wishes to turn your child against you or otherwise change his or her opinion of you, it can prove to be even more of a struggle.
While it is, unfortunately, not uncommon for one parent to speak ill of his or her ex in the wake of a divorce, when it happens repeatedly, it may wind up constituting parental alienation. Parental alienation is a serious behavior that can have a strong and negative impact on your child. In fact, many child-rearing authorities now contend that parental alienation is, in fact, a form of abuse, and that it can, in some cases, have lifelong emotional effects on the children who have to deal with it.
Defining and identifying instances of parental alienation
There are many different actions that may suggest that parental alienation is at play, but in simple terms, anything that involves one parent trying to convince a child that the other parent is bad or uncaring could potentially constitute this type of treatment. For example, if one parent forbids the child from communicating with the other parent while in his or her care, this may count as parental alienation.
If one parent repeatedly disparages the other parent or calls his or her parenting ability into question in front of a child, this may also count as parental alienation. Furthermore, if one parent threatens to withdraw affection or stop financing extracurriculars or something else if the child does not reject the other parent, this, may, too, constitute parental alienation.
Parental alienation has the potential to impact your child throughout childhood and well into adulthood. In some cases, it can lead to a range of emotional issues for your child, including low self-esteem and self-hatred, among others.