When dealing with a messy divorce, it is more important than ever to keep an eye on your child. Your co-parent may unfortunately use this as an opportunity to try weaponizing your child against you in an act known as parental alienation.
Some signs of parental alienation are easy to pick out. Others may seem more subtle, and these are usually the ones that come first.
Psychiatric times discusses how you can spot parental alienation in earlier stages. At the start, you will need to pay close attention to your child’s behavior. This is where most of the warning signs manifest. For example, children often begin to act out in the early stages of parental alienation. They may lash out against peers and loved ones. They will often reject authority figures and may begin to act out in class, if they are school age.
In other cases, they may withdraw and adopt a more sullen temperament. This can happen especially in children who direct their guilt and blame inward. It can lead to difficulties making connections with peers, depression and more.
The increase of small grievances
Pay attention to how they view you and your home, as well. Many children going through parental alienation will slowly but surely find more things to take issue with. They might suddenly complain about how you clean things, do laundry or do the dishes. They may gripe about the way you cook or reject dishes that they have previously enjoyed.
On top of everything, they will not have a straight answer to give when asked about these sudden changes. If you notice such issues, consider taking them to a legal expert who can help you decide what to do next.