Simply hearing the term “parental alienation” can make North Carolina parents feel uneasy. Every parent wants to protect that special relationship with their child, and the risk of alienation puts that in jeopardy.
Many people think that parental alienation only happens in high-conflict, extreme divorce cases. Is that true?
How common is alienation?
Psychology Today reports that parental alienation is more common than many people might believe. It could occur in between 11% to 15% of divorces involving kids and custody disputes.
It is important to note that not all of these cases will be to the extreme. There are varying levels of parental alienation. For example, both of the following are forms or indicators of parental alienation:
- If an ex-spouse badmouths you to the children.
- If an ex-spouse actively tries to turn your child against you with manipulative behavior.
The second form is much more extreme than the first – yet both are negative and harmful to the children and the relationship between parent and child. However, the varying forms of alienation are likely what makes it more common than many believe.
What should parents do?
Regardless of the form parental alienation takes, it is important to manage and stop it effectively. You should watch for the signs of parental alienation and understand how it works. It is helpful to:
- Watch how your ex-spouse acts around the kids
- Carefully observe how your children act, especially towards you
Additionally, you should focus on taking the high road if you do face parental alienation. It is possible to seek outside help to manage parental alienation and eventually stop it. Obtaining that help and avoiding any retaliatory acts is critical.
This is not to say that parental alienation will happen in your divorce. However, it is important to watch out for these signs to protect your family.