When your children are struggling to adjust to a new schedule in a different house after a divorce, they may feel overwhelmed at first.
However, if they continue to show signs of irritation toward you or act in odd ways, then you may be dealing with parental alienation. A co-parent is typically the source of this issue when they manipulate children during their time alone with them.
According to Psychology Today, you may find that alienated children tend to disagree with you more and even ignore your attempts at discipline. Your co-parent may have told them lies and negative stories about you in order to win them over or scare them into not talking to you.
As time goes on, you could notice a lack of guilt or regret over any misbehavior, even if your children showed remorse before when you disciplined them.
Unable to talk honestly
No matter what subject they talk about, alienated children may agree completely with a co-parent without showing signs of nuance. In order to make your children feel closer to them, your co-parent could be showing personal information, like emails you wrote, to your children in private.
This unhealthy cycle can lead to your children thinking you do not love them, which can lead to them identifying more with your co-parent.
Struggles with open dislike
These manipulation tactics mean your children will have a harder time being open with you and feeling comfortable with you. They may even show annoyance or open dislike toward your extended family and grandparents on your side of the family.
Understanding parental alienation is important for anyone worried about this phenomenon.