If you share custody of your children with a co-parent, the two of you undoubtedly have butted heads at one point or another. Few things can be more contentious than the holidays, though. After all, both you and your co-parent probably have some clear ideas about how the holidays should unfold.
Even if your custody agreement allows you to spend time with your children during the holidays, your co-parent might resent not being with them. For that reason, he or she might be more willing to engage in parental alienation during the holiday season.
What is parental alienation?
According to Psychology Today, parental alienation happens when one parent actively tries to turn the children against the other parent. Parental alienation, which can occur at any time, may include one or more of the following behaviors:
- Telling your children not to trust you
- Asking your kids not to participate in family events with you
- Convincing your children you are a bad person
Why is parental alienation dangerous?
As you can see, parental alienation has the potential to quickly damage the good relationships you have with the young members of your family. As a result, some child psychologists view this type of manipulation as child abuse. If you do not act quickly, your kids may suffer long-term harm.
How can you stop parental alienation?
Your co-parent may not realize he or she is doing anything wrong, so you might want to try having a conversation with him or her first. If that does not work, you may need to explore other options, including taking legal action.
Ultimately, because parental alienation is not in the best interest of anyone in your family, you may have little choice but to ask a court to reconsider your custody arrangement.