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Sharing custody with an ex-spouse is difficult, especially if the divorce was a high-conflict separation. In some cases, parents may use their children as weapons against their ex. While anger is typical of children following a divorce, too much anger directed at one parent may be a sign of parental alienation.

Understanding what to look for in parental alienation can help you treat it as quickly as possible.

Children fully support one parent over the other

Sometimes kids will favor one parent over the other. However, in cases of parental alienation, there is clear black-and-white thinking. For example, if your children simply prefer to spend time with your ex, but still express love to you, want to be with you and criticize both of you equally, then you may not have anything to worry about. However, if your kids see everything you do as bad but everything the other parent does as good, then it could be alienation.

Children offer unjust criticism with no remorse

While it is normal for your children to become upset with their parents or to criticize them, constant and severe criticism may not be as normal. If your children only talk bad about you and have no reason for it, they may be influenced by your former partner. Even when they say hurtful things to you, they will not feel bad about it. Instead, they may feel justified in how they treat you.

If you spend time with your children and they ask you not to share that they had a good time with you, they may be under the influence of your former spouse. Alienating parents will make children feel like they have to choose sides.