It is normal for kids to go through a period of grief following their parents’ divorce. They may show resentment or frustration towards you and your former spouse. You should expect a period of adjustment and for your children to react emotionally to the changes in their lives. How do you know if your children’s behavioral issues are normal or if they indicate a deeper issue? Could your former spouse be the reason for the behavior?
According to WebMD, parental alienation occurs when one parent manipulates the children into alienating the other. There are signs to watch out for to find out if your children are under the influence of an alienator.
No just cause for criticism
Your kids might act out angrily towards you with no justification for the criticism. You might feel like you cannot do anything to make them happy with you. In some cases, their justification will sound like your ex’s criticism of you. Sometimes the alienator will divulge personal information about the relationship to encourage anger toward the ex-spouse.
No complex feelings or thoughts
Divorce is complicated for all parties involved. Kids often have complex feelings towards their parents regarding the breakup. Children who become victims of parental alienation do not have complex feelings toward their parents. They clearly favor one parent and will not say anything against him or her and only have negative things to say about the other. Kids might have very black-and-white thinking with no sign of guilt or remorse.
Parental alienation can turn into a form of child abuse. If your spouse attempts to alienate you, you can mend the relationship with your children.