Parental alienation is an issue that plagues many divorcing parents. Whether it is due to bitterness or misplaced good intention, the end result is the same. Your child could end up suffering from long-term consequences as a result.
Thus, you need to act fast once you notice signs of parental alienation. What red flags should you be keeping an eye out for?
Rejection of the alienated parent
The Psychiatric Times points out potential signs of parental alienation. This includes the largest red flag and the one most people notice right away: how your child behaves toward you. Many children who suffer from parental alienation will reject the alienated parent suddenly, with little to no preamble. On top of that, they cannot give a good reason as to why they do not wish to spend time with you anymore.
The degree of rejection varies from case to case. For example, some children will warm up to the alienated parent again after spending some time in their care. Other children feel such intense aversion to the alienated parent that there is seemingly no winning them over.
Changes in temperament and behavior
Pay attention to their behavior and temperament, too. They may manifest their stress outwardly or inwardly. For example, a child may suddenly withdraw from peers and display signs of depression or anxiety. A child may also begin lashing out at others. They could reject peers and become oppositional toward authoritative figures.
These issues can also persist into adulthood. Many adults who suffered from parental alienation as children claim to struggle with relationship and trust issues. They also have a higher rate of depression, anxiety and stress traumas. Thus, if you notice signs early, you want to act quickly and contact a legal professional to see what to do next.