When couples with children divorce, the relationship between one parent and those children may change because of parental alienation. While this phenomenon does not occur with all divorces, Web MD notes that it usually occurs between the children and the non-custodial parent and is often facilitated by the custodial parent.
Divorced individuals with children who live with their ex-partner may want to remain aware of the signs of parental alienation so they can do everything possible to maintain a healthy relationship with their kids.
Most children are impressionable well into their teen years, so when one parent constantly criticizes the other and does so in front of the kids, they may pick this behavior up as well and begin to find fault with the non-custodial parent. The children may take up this attitude and find new faults with that parent, even if they are not justifiable.
A lack of guilt
As a custodial parent conditions a child to resent the non-custodial parent, he or she may believe that parent deserves the harsh treatment. The child may not show any empathy or tenderness and refuse to apologize for the behavior when confronted. If left unresolved, this behavior may increase to the point where the child no longer wants contact with the non-custodial parent.
Defense of the custodial parent
Parents who encourage their children to isolate or deride their non-custodial parent may defend the other, no matter the circumstances. They may even have an exaggerated view of their custodial parent as a hero, especially if the other parent initiated the divorce.
Parental alienation is often difficult for non-custodial parents to handle. However, an effective co-parenting plan and family counseling may help prevent or resolve it.