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Preventing parental alienation: What to watch out for

When parents and children go through divorce, there is always a risk of contention between the parties. One issue that some parents find themselves extremely concerned about is the risk of parental alienation. Parental alienation is, generally speaking, when one parent alienates a child against the other parent through manipulative tactics. These tactics might be things such as promising gifts, badmouthing the other parent or making the child fear repercussions for involving the other parent in his or her life.

For parents who are concerned about parental alienation, there are a few things that ca be done to address the problem once you recognize that it’s taking place. First, though, you have to recognize it. Here’s how.

1. Your child becomes aggressive or rude toward you

This isn’t always a sign, especially if your child has a history of becoming aggressive, but if a once-sweet child suddenly says that you’re awful or that he or she hates you, it’s time to start looking deeper into the situation.

2. Your child informs you that the other parent is saying bad things about you

If your child lets it slip that the other parent is saying bad things about you to them, it’s time to talk to your attorney and to clear the air. No child should have to hear what his or her parent thinks about the other parent, because it will start to color his or her own opinions.

3. Your child suddenly refuses to see you

Unless there is a reason, a child who suddenly refuses to visit with you is very unusual. Parents with close relationships with their children who suddenly find that their children are scared to be with them or refuse to visit need to speak up quickly.

If alienation is occurring, the courts can help. Your attorney can help you fight to obtain custody and resolve this issue before it has lifelong implications.