Single Fathers: How To Protect Your Relationship with Your Kids
No child should have to choose between their parents, but sadly, some exes often make this the reality in cases of divorce or separation. Parental alienation occurs when one parent attempts to undermine the relationship between the child and their other parent. This can take many forms, from disparaging comments about the other parent to outright refusal to allow contact.
Parental alienation can be extremely difficult and profoundly impactful on children. It can damage their relationship with both parents and cause them significant psychological distress. It can also lead to problems in school and social settings.
If you’re a single father on Long Island who is dealing with parental alienation, you may feel helpless and alone. But there are steps you can take to fight back against this destructive behavior. Keep reading to learn more.
The Negative Impact of Parental Alienation on Children
Effects On the Father-Child Relationship
The effect of parental alienation on the father-child relationship can be profound and long-lasting. When a child is alienated from a parent, they often experience feelings of guilt, shame, and confusion. This can lead to a rift in the relationship that may be difficult to repair. Additionally, the child may struggle with trust issues and have difficulty forming future relationships, particularly with men, even as an adult.
Consequences of Parental Alienation
The consequences of parental alienation can be far-reaching and devastating. In some cases, it can result in the complete estrangement of a child from a parent. This can cause tremendous emotional pain and suffering for both the child and the parent involved. Additionally, it can interfere with the development of a healthy parent-child relationship and lead to behavioral problems and mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.
Signs of Parental Alienation
Undermining the Alienated Parent’s Authority
Parental alienation typically involves one parent systematically undermining the authority of the other parent in the eyes of their child. The goal is to make the child feel that they cannot trust or respect the targeted parent, and that they would be better off without them in their life.
Parents who do this may:
- Badmouth the targeted parent in front of the child
- Tell the child that their other parent doesn’t really love or care about them
- Make false allegations of abuse against the targeted parent
- Refuse to let the child see or speak to the targeted parent
- Tell the child that the targeted parent is not really their mother or father
Disparagement of the Alienated Parent
In addition to undermining the authority of the alienated parent, it can also involve actively disparaging them in front of their child. The goal is to make the child see their other parent as someone who is unworthy of their love and respect.
For example, the ex might start:
- Calling the alienated parent names
- Telling lies about them to their child
- Making false claims about their character or parenting abilities
- Telling stories that paint them in a negative light
Parentification of the Child
In some cases of parental alienation, one parent will try to turn their children into mini-adults by giving them adult responsibilities or involving them in adult problems. This can have a number of negative effects on children, including:
- Feeling like they need to choose only one parent or choose “sides” in arguments
- Feeling like they need to take care of one or both parents
- Feeling overwhelmed and stressed by the adult responsibility placed on them
- Becoming withdrawn and depressed
How to Fight Parental Alienation on Long Island
It’s important for fathers to understand that they have rights when it comes to their children, even if they are not married to the child’s mother. In New York, fathers have the right to petition for custody and visitation of their children. If you are facing parental alienation, it is important to assert your rights in court and make it clear to the judge that you are an active and involved parent in your child’s life.
If you suspect that your ex is engaging in parental alienation, it is important to take action to protect your relationship with your child. The attorneys at Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. have extensive experience handling these types of cases and can help you protect your relationship with your child. Contact us today at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below to learn more about how we can help you fight parental alienation on Long Island.
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