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Parental Alienation Symptoms: Behaviors to Avoid

After a divorce, helping your children maintain a healthy relationship with both parents can be difficult. Be aware of the following common alienating behaviors and try working to avoid them from your daily routine so you can help your children recover emotionally from your divorce.

  • Sharing too much: Honesty doesn’t mean telling your kids all the sordid details of your divorce. Telling your kids negative information about their other parent will hurt them and harm the relationship.
  • Giving false choices: Don’t let your children choose whether to go to Dad’s this weekend – legally, they can’t. Plus, you could encourage resentment in them and your ex.
  • Keeping information to yourself: Medical records, school information, soccer schedules – everything should be shared between you and your ex. Withholding important facts makes things harder for everyone.
  • Using your kids as spies: Asking your kid to gather facts on your former spouse puts them in an awkward position. If there’s something you need to know, ask your ex-spouse.
  • Ignoring children’s needs: Your kids may need to tote belongings between houses, as well as talk on the phone and bond with your ex-spouse. Pretending these needs don’t exist may harm your children’s development and their relationship with both parents.
  • Refusing to budge: Sometimes, you may have to give a little on child custody days or child visitation time. Chances are, at some point you’ll need your ex to be flexible in the future. Pointless rigidity doesn’t benefit anyone.
  • Sabotaging your ex-spouse’s time: Planning fun activities for time your ex is supposed to have the kids or over-scheduling kids so they have little to no free time with your ex causes hard feelings. Your kids will be sore about missing the fun, your ex is angry you tried to pull them away and your relationship with your kids suffers.
  • Rescuing your kids from nothing: Acting like you’re saving your children physically or psychologically from their other parent when you don’t need to may create a false illusion that one parent is unfit or dangerous.
  • Blaming your ex for the divorce: Even if it was your ex-spouse’s fault, there’s no need to share this with your kids.
  • Lying: When you tell your children false information, your ex may have to cover for you and you may be alienated from your children.

Keep in mind that these behaviors can make divorce even more difficult for children. Modifying your behavior may be difficult, but with a concentrated effort, you may prevent yourself from alienating your children from your ex-spouse or yourself.

The above excerpt was found on the Total Divorce website.  Great tips!

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