Do you feel like your child has suddenly turned against you for no good reason? If so, then you may be the subject of parental alienation. This process, sometimes referred to as programming or even brainwashing, involves one parent manipulating a child so that he or she becomes distanced from his or her other parent. This tactic is often used to try to destroy a relationship between a child and his other parent, oftentimes with the end goal of obtaining some sort of custody modification.
Signs of parental alienation
There are indicators that suggest that your child is being manipulated to distrust or even dislike you. For example, your child might criticize you without cause or justification, and the language used in those circumstances may seem out of line with the way he or she usually speaks. Your child might also exhibit unwavering support for his or her other parent, and the child might even know intimate details about your life or your marriage that only your child’s other parent knows.
How alienation occurs
Alienation can take many forms. Chief amongst them is simply lying to the child or feeding him or her information that shouldn’t be told to a child. Another commonly utilized strategy is planning fun activities when the child is supposed to be spending time with you. This puts you in a bad position where you have to choose between seeing your child or pulling him or her away from something that he or she wants to do, thereby risking the creation of resentment.
What you can do about it
Parental alienation can be difficult to prove, but it’s not impossible. With strong legal know-how, you might be able to trap your child’s other parent in lies or otherwise show that he or she is engaging in manipulative behavior. Once you think you have the evidence to show alienation, then you can take the action needed, which would probably include seeking a modification of custody or visitation, to protect your child and your relationship with him or her.
Since these can be complicated matters, it may be best to work closely with your family law attorney so that you can best position yourself for success.