As couples in Indiana are working through a divorce, each must exercise caution when talking to the children about the other parent. According to the Huffington Post, many divorcing parents use their children to harm the other spouse. They allow their marital disappointments to spill over into the realm of parenting, and therefore attempt to separate the children completely from the other parent. Many times the target of this degradation is the father. This situation sometimes occurs even if he had a healthy and thriving relationship with the children before the divorce. In some cases, the children begin to think they have developed a negative opinion of the targeted parent without any outside influence, and they in turn reject that parent. The children mistreat the parent, and sometimes feel no remorse for doing so, because they have been so thoroughly convinced that he is not worthy of their respect or love.
Children who have been influenced by one parent to dislike or reject the other often feel confused, angry and hurt. They may internalize the allegations, and start to believe they are true about themselves as well.
According to Psychology Today, children who have experienced unjustified alienation from one parent may even develop a certain level of post-traumatic stress, in addition to unwarranted, conditioned hatred. They may be taught to believe that the parent is dangerous, and develop an unnatural fear as a result. Attempting to alienate one parent from the children without a legitimate reason is actually a form of abuse, and it should be avoided at all costs.