Due to manipulations from one parent, children sometimes refuse to have relationships with their other parents. Known as parental alienation, this mental condition affects children, as well as parents, and may result in long-term repercussions.
Although often a difficult road, paths exist for families to heal and move forward from parental alienation.
Acting with compassion
People who believe their exes have alienated them from their children often feel a range of emotions, including sadness and anger. According to PsychCentral.com, divorced parents may serve themselves and their children by acting with compassion. Rather than engaging negatively with a disrespectful child, they may benefit by setting boundaries while remaining empathetic to the emotional struggles their kids are going through.
When faced with disrespectful or even hateful behavior from their children, it sometimes angers, saddens and frustrates parents. While it may seem understandable to lash out, parents often find it helpful to instead use patience. Instead of trying to talk their children out of how they feel because of the other parent’s actions, parents should listen to their kids and attempt instead to find some common ground to build from.
Seeking professional help
According to Psychology Today, children of parental alienation, as well as parents, sometimes need professional assistance to move past this mental condition. Many find the help they need with support groups and mental health professionals.
When it occurs, parental alienation may forever change the dynamics and relationships in families. If parents suspect their children’s other parents of engaging in this type of behavior, they may consider all their options, including pursuing modifications to their custody agreements.