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Can parental alienation affect your child’s future?

New Jersey parents want what is best for their children. You and your co-parent are no exception. Unfortunately, divorce can sometimes cloud a person’s better judgment. Your co-parent may decide that their spite toward you outweighs the prioritization of your child’s safety. 

In situations like this, you often see co-parents acting in distressing and even potentially abusive ways. These are the situations in which you may see parental alienation. 

Parental alienation as a form of abuse 

Psychology Today examines how parental alienation impacts the affected child. The courts classify parental alienation as a form of child psychological abuse. It puts massive pressure on a child to turn against one parent, which can result in guilt and distress to extreme degrees. 

The alienating parent often uses many tactics to turn your child against you. They may resort to emotional manipulation, twisting the facts and even outright lying. This can have a big impact on your child’s ability to trust. In the future, many children struggle to form genuine emotional bonds and attachments. They have trouble trusting other people and may not get along with authority figures. 

Developing unhealthy coping mechanisms

Many children of parental alienation also suffer from a higher rate of anxiety, depression and stress disorders. Tied to this, many struggle with unhealthy coping mechanisms as well. Some may struggle with addiction in their adult years. 

On top of that, they deal with feelings of conflict, confusion and guilt as children. They do not understand why they are turning against a trusted and loved parent. But they do not want to go against another parent whom they also trust and love. This conflict can manifest in strong tendencies to self-blame that may last into adulthood. 

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