Is It Normal for a Child to Prefer One Parent Over Another During a Divorce?

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DivorceDivorce is not only difficult for soon-to-be-ex-spouses, but it’s hard for their children, as well. In some cases, children of divorcing couples tend to prefer the presence of one parent over another. While it is typical for kids to react negatively during stressful circumstances, hating one parent during divorce is something that shouldn’t be ignored as it is a psychological behavior called parental alienation syndrome.

What are the Signs of Parental Alienation?

According to a number of family law attorneys in Denver, CO, this behavior could be apparent during child custody battles. When questioned in court, children with this syndrome may exhibit anger towards the “alienated” parent while protecting the “alienating” parent. They would assert that their “alienating” parent does not have something to do with their negative feelings over their other parent. Moreover, they often won’t show any guilt for their cruel behavior toward their “alienated” parent.

How Does this Syndrome Develop?

Whether they’re aware or not, alienating parents have often said some things to a child that make them develop hatred toward their other parent. In the process, they slowly damage the relationship between the child and the alienated parent. More often than not, the alienated parent is the one who moved out of the home or got separated from the child for a long time.

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How Can the Alienated Parents Change Their Child’s Behavior Towards Them?

According to several psychologists, those who succeeded in overcoming the alienation remained logical, resisted retaliations, and never gave up on reaching out to their children. Alienated parents who react in anger merely give the child, as well as the court, a reason to conclude that they are truly unstable to provide child care.

If you are currently divorcing a spouse and experiencing an alienation from your child, you better disclose it to your lawyer. This way, you’ll know how to use this as a ground for taking the custody of your child. But more importantly, talk to a child psychologist. After all, in divorce, it is your children who really matter.