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Parental alienation and how it affects your children

It is not uncommon for a New York parent to harbor ill feelings towards his or her spouse after the divorce is finalized. But when those feelings spill over into the way he or she interacts with their children, it could lead to parental alienation. 11 to 15 percent of divorces, in which there are children involve parental alienation, states A Voice for Men.

To shield themselves from the negativity and to earn the favor of one their parents, some children by their own free will and through parental manipulation resort to treating the other parent unfairly. This behavior has an effect on both the relationship with the targeted parent and the children. The targeted parent may feel as if their efforts to establish and maintain a healthy relationship with their kids is constantly being undermined by their former spouse. According to the Metro Parent, this behavior is emotionally abusive towards children and is also known as “hostile aggressive parenting.” Victimized parents may also start to develop unpleasant feelings about their kids because of how difficult their role has become.

Common signs of manipulation include the abusive parent instructing their kids to lie and act aggressively towards their other parent, limiting their interactions with them and interrogating their kids for information about them. The children are not aware that their preferred parent is manipulating them. As they strive to act in a manner that earns them favor with this parent, their self-esteem drops and their emotions become so tumultuous because they blame themselves for their parents’ separation.

Parental alienation is very harmful behavior that can have life-altering effects on everyone, especially the children. Regardless of the new family dynamic and child custody and parenting agreements that are in place, both parents must work together so they can maintain a healthy relationship between themselves and their kids.

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