If you experienced a high-conflict divorce, you know it can end messy. When you share kids and custody with your ex, you may worry about how your ex talks about you with your children.
According to WebMD, some parents pressure children to have negative feelings towards their other parents. If your ex does this, your children may show signs of parental alienation.
Do your children want to spend time with you?
The alienating parent will try to keep your children with them more often than you. He or she may attempt to plan fun activities or trips when you have the kids to lure them back to him or her.
Kids who experience parental alienation strongly resist going home with the alienated parent. If they do come home with you and have fun, they may ask you to keep it a secret from your ex.
Do your children have inside knowledge?
While kids naturally fight with their parents sometimes, alienated children never have a nice thing to say about the alienated parent. Instead, they side entirely with the other parent and will defend them no matter what. You can only do wrong and your ex can only do good. Your kids adopt your ex’s feelings but do not recognize them. Generally, parental alienation keeps your kids from feeling guilty about the hurtful things they say or feel.
Most kids will also know things that they should not know. Your ex may share details about your breakup or about your fights that children do not have business knowing.
While complicated to navigate, you can treat parental alienation. In many cases, a court may temporarily restrict visitation with the alienating parent.