How parental alienation can affect your children

There is a natural tendency among authoritarian divorcees to alienate their children. Although alienated children from authoritarian families follow all the rules, their social skills and school performance tend to be poor and they may also deal with low self-esteem coupled and other issues. Parental alienation is a serious problem that must be dealt with during the early stages otherwise it may affect your child’s emotional development. If you feel your children have been alienated from you, contact a Salt Lake City divorce attorney today to advise you on the best course of action.

Not enough time

Many children whose parents live apart after a divorce feel they don’t spend quality time with their parents. The custodial parent is generally busy running a household and also bearing most of the costs of raising children alone. Children will also feel the same way with the non-custodial parent who only show up on weekends.

Alienated children

Some children may reject one of the parents’ company and refuse to contact them or spend time with them. These are alienated children. Although there may be a reason for this behavior, studies have shown that children in situations like these have been influenced or taught to reject the other parent. Their memories or perceptions of the parent being rejected are not positive and all the pleasant moments with the rejected parent are slowly erased from the child’s mind.

Causes of parental alienation

Although in most cases parental alienation is caused by one of the parents’ negative influence, there are times when other factors may have also contributed to the child’s behavior:

  • Child’s personality
  • Family circumstances
  • How the rejected parent responds to the alienation

Psychological harm

Children are naturally inclined  to value the favored parent’s opinions a lot. When the favored parent speaks negatively about the rejected parent, the child will suffer psychological harm known as child psychological abuse. Children suffering from this type of abuse may experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dependency
  • Feelings of  anger
  • Problems with authorities
  • Eating disorders
  • Disrespecting adults
  • Performing poorly in school
  • Low self esteem
  • Feelings of abandonment

Authoritarian parenting

This parenting style is generally responsible for most of the parental alienation cases. There is a lot expected from the children and feedback is not allowed.  These parents have strict rules that must be followed and children are not provided with many option to choose from. In other words, when an authoritarian parent speaks negatively of his or her ex, it’s a fact and he or she is not open to debate. This parenting style is controlling. Rather than teaching children and allowing them space to make  choices, authoritarian parents always have the final answer.

How a Salt Lake City divorce attorney can help

If you have recently gone through a divorce and you are facing the above described scenario, it’s important you seek legal counsel from an experienced Salt Lake City divorce attorney. Parental alienation is very common in divorce cases but  there are healthy ways to deal with this situation.