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Divorced Parent: Do You Alienate Your Child from the Other Parent?

I have seen some divorce parents consciously distance their children from the other parent? Such actions may only be justified when there is a genuine concern about the children's emotional or physical safety when with the other parent. But in the absence of past domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, physical, sexual, or emotional child abuse, alienating children from the other parent will never bring any good.

Other parents may subconsciously alienate children from the other parent. But whether there is a deliberate move or not to alienate children from the other parent, the same thing will happen. Children will always suffer. Remember children generally fare best when they have the emotional support and ongoing involvement of both parents and parental alienation must be put to an end.

The good news is we can prevent the devastating effects of parental alienation. The key is to begin recognizing the symptoms of parental alienation. After reading the list below, don't get discouraged when you notice that some of your own behaviors have been alienating. Instead, let the list help sensitize you to how you are behaving and what you are saying to your children.

1. Denying the existence of the other parent. This include actions like denying other parent photo's within children's room, avoiding conversations with other parent, ignoring the other parent in public and refusing visitation.

2. Criticizing the other parent. This include actions like speaking negatively about the other parent in front of the children, speaking negatively about the other parent's family and friends, and comparing your children to the other parent in a negative way.

3. Placing your children in the middle. This include actions like using them as a messenger, having them act as spies, discussing adult issues in front of or with your children and arguing in front of the children.

4. Setting up the other parent to fail. This include actions like failing to inform the other parent of important events, laughing at or making jokes about the other parent, encourage children to disobey other parent and blaming the divorce on the other parent.

5. Resisting or refusing to cooperate by not allowing the other parent access to school or medical records and schedules of extracurricular activities.

6. Telling the child "everything" about the marital relationship or reasons for the divorce is alienating. The parent usually argues that they are "just wanting to be honest" with their children. This practice is destructive and painful for the child. The alienating parent's motive is for the child to think less of the other parent.

7. Asking the child to choose one parent over another parent causes the child considerable distress. Typically, they do not want to reject a parent, but instead want to avoid the issue. The child, not the parent, should initiate any suggestion for change of residence.

8. Refusing to be flexible with the visitation schedule in order to respond to the child's needs.

9. A parent suggesting or reacting with hurt or sadness to their child having a good time with the other parent will cause the child to withdraw and not communicate. They will frequently feel guilty or conflicted not knowing that it's "okay" to have fun with their other parent.

10. When parents physically or psychologically rescue the children when there is no threat to their safety. This practice reinforces in the child's mind the illusion of threat or danger, thereby reinforcing alienation.

Now that you have read the above list, don't get discouraged when you notice that some of your own behaviors have been alienating. Just think and internalize that children generally fare best when they have the emotional support and ongoing involvement of both parents. Therefore, parental alienation must be put to end. Both parents have to work as co-parents.

If you are having difficulty parenting with your children's other parent then make your move now. Remedy your situation by getting a free copy of my ebook "8 Essential Steps To Cooperative Parenting and Divorce." Likewise, you can learn effective divorce parenting from my other ebook "101 Ways To Raise 'Divorced' Children to Successfully." For more information, please visit my website.

With the above information, I hope you will become an empowered divorced parent and believe that you can raise healthy, happy and successful children even if you're divorce.

Copyright by Ruben Francia. All Rights Reserved.

Publishing Rights: You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print, in your ebook or on your website, free of charge, as long as the author's information and web link are included at the bottom of the article. The web link should be active when the article is reprinted on a web site or in an email. Minor edits and alterations are acceptable so long as they do not distort or change the content of the article.

About the Author

Ruben Francia is an author of an indispensable divorce parenting guide ebook, entitled "101 Ways To Raise Your 'Divorced' Children To Success". Get his other ebook for FREE, "8 Essential Steps to Cooperative Parenting and Divorce." Visit his web site at


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