Divorce often means upheaval and confusion for minor children, who have no control over the sudden changes sweeping through their lives. While you may do everything possible to ease them into these new circumstances, it is natural for them to display signs of anger and sadness.
Acting out is not uncommon in the wake of a divorce either. However, sometimes a shift in behavior and attitude may also indicate parental alienation, the deliberate turning of your children against you by your spouse, which may have severe negative emotional and psychological effects on them.
Your children display sudden irrational, blind aggression towards you
Some level of moodiness is normal in the wake of a divorce. However, intense aggression, rudeness, coldness and even hate directed unrelentingly in your direction is an alarming sign that something might be wrong. It may be the result of unresolved emotions or it may be the result of your ex-spouse bad-talking you. Another indicator of parental alienation is if your child blames you for everything without any real reason and resists any logical explanation. If your children see you as “the villain” in every situation, it may be because their other parent paints you as such behind your back.
Your ex-spouse purposefully refuses to cooperate and blames you
One form of parental alienation is messing with visitation. For example, your ex-partner may schedule fun activities and outings during your time and make you out to be the bad guy when you insist on your children visiting you. He or she may emotionally manipulate your children by telling lies about you or acting hurt when they talk about the fun they have with you.
Parental alienation is harmful and may be grounds for a custody change. It is important to keep an eye out for signs of it.