You likely have fundamental disagreements with your children’s other parent. Nonetheless, if you are parenting in a post-divorce family, your former spouse should respect the relationship you have with your kids. Parental alienation occurs when a co-parent tries to sabotage that relationship. 

To ensure that your kids have what they need to grow up in a healthy environment, you must stop parental alienation in its tracks. While there are a few different ways to identify alienating behavior, watching your kids may give you invaluable insight. Here are four signs of possible parental alienation that you may see in your kids.

  1. Refused visits 

You want to be the best mom or dad possible. Still, you can only parent effectively if you regularly see your children. If your kids begin to refuse visits or reject communication, parental alienation may be to blame.

  1. Disparaging words 

Your former partner should not make disparaging comments about you to your children. If your kids use the same negative language you have heard your ex-spouse, your former husband or wife may be trying to turn your kids against you.

  1. Excluded activities

One of the great aspects of being a parent is watching children participate in social and extracurricular activities. If your kids ask you not to come to a dance recital, sports game, birthday party or any other meaningful function, their co-parent may be interfering with your parent-child relationship.

  1. Unfounded allegations 

Your ex-spouse may encourage your children to believe that you are an unfit parent. If your kids allege that you are engaging in abuse, neglect or criminal activity, you may be dealing with parental alienation.

Because parental alienation runs counter to the best interests of children, judges in Washington are likely to take it quite seriously. By watching for the signs of parental alienation and documenting each incident, you boost your odds of protecting your parent-child relationship.