When California parents make the choice to end their marriage, it can have a significant impact on their children. How they approach custody and co-parenting after divorce can also have an impact on their children. When one parent does not respect the role of the other, it can lead to parental alienation. This is damaging to both a parent and a child, and it can permanently alter the way a child thinks about a parent.
Parental alienation happens when one parent takes steps to intentionally harm the relationship the child has with the other. This can happen by speaking badly about the other parent, disrupting communication and by excluding him or her from important events in the life of child. The child can become resentful, believing the other parent does not want an active role in his or her life.
It can be quite difficult to undo the damage done by parental alienation. The perception a child has of his or her parent is something that may be carried into adulthood. This type of manipulation can also cause mental duress for the child over loving one parent more than the other or emotional trauma over no longer having a strong relationship with a parent.
A California parent may feel overwhelmed and confused regarding what to do about parental alienation. This is why it is important for parents to seek and commit to following a reasonable custody plan during their divorce. The ultimate goal of any parenting arrangement is to protect the best interests of a child above any hard feelings two parents may have about each other.