The holidays offer plenty of excellent opportunities to spend time with family and friends. If you share custody of your kids with an ex-partner, though, your ex might try to usurp your parenting time. Even worse, he or she may try to turn the kids against you when you are not around.
According to Psychology Today, parental alienation is a serious matter that can constitute emotional child abuse. If your ex works to harm the good relationships you have with your children, there can be catastrophic long-term consequences. Therefore, you should watch for parental alienation during the holiday season and throughout the year.
Signs of parental alienation
The tricky thing about parental alienation is that it can be difficult to identify, as a single event usually does not rise to the level of parental alienation. Nevertheless, if your ex does any of the following more than once, you might have a big problem on your hands:
- Telling your kids you are a bad, dishonest or dangerous person
- Asking your kids to keep close tabs on you and report back to him or her
- Disinviting you from regular parenting activities
- Refusing to let your children speak with you
Your parental rights
Even though you share custody, you have some valuable rights as a parent. One of these is the right to be free from parental alienation. If your ex refuses to stop his or her alienating actions or behaviors, you also probably have a right to ask a court to intervene.
Because parental alienation is not in the best interests of any child, a court is not likely to let it continue. Ultimately, by taking quick action, you can protect both your children and yourself.