As a parent going through divorce, you prioritize your child even in the most difficult of times. Unfortunately, your co-parent may not do the same. In fact, some co-parents may try to weaponize your child against you. They may even try to actively sabotage your relationship.
So how do you tell when these sort of malicious tactics are in use? Are they obvious, or can they slide by the radar undetected?
Early signs of parental alienation
The Psychiatric Times looks into signs of parental alienation. In many cases, you will see the effect of parental alienation early on. The end goal of most alienating parents is to separate you from your child. To reach that end, they will tell extravagant lies and even lean on abusive tactics to change your child’s view of you.
Because of this, the signs stand out and come almost immediately. First, you will likely notice an aversion to spending time with you. Your child may come up with excuses for this reluctance, but they likely will not make logical sense. If asked, they will deny the involvement of the alienating parent. They will claim it is entirely their own free will.
Length and strength of aversion
Some children may relax after spending some time in your care. Others who suffer from heavier indoctrination may reject your presence for the duration of the time you spend together. Keep an ear out for phrases or information they seem to parrot back. Look for behavioral changes as well. For example, energetic children may grow lethargic. Vivacious children may display signs of depression.
If you notice any of these signs, consider contacting a legal expert to learn more about your options.