Toddlers and preschoolers might form strong attachments to an involved Step-Parents .Even in the best of situations, families go through a major transition when a new step-parent enters the picture.
How Step-Parents Cause Parental Alienation
Without a concentrated effort to maintain a healthy relationship between children and both of their biological parents, a step-parent might cause feelings of parental alienation between children and their non-custodial parent. This is especially true when a child is too young to have formed long-term memories with a biological parent. A mother might unintentionally turn her children against their father by making sarcastic comments about him to her new spouse or praising her new spouse for doing things better or differently than her ex. A custodial father might remarry and the step-mother may begin to fill the role of a mother to his young children.
Types of Parental Alienation
- Naive Alienators
- Active Alienators
- Obsessed Alienators
These are the common type of alienation found .The way in which Step-Parents cause parental alienation is discussed here
Reduced Contact with Biological Parent
Even in the best situations, it is often difficult for a non-custodial parents to retain the same level of intimacy that they had when they lived in the house with their children. According to the American Psychological Association, children are likely to feel abandoned when contact with a biological parent is limited or sporadic. Once the custodial parent remarries, the new blended family might move further away from a non-custodial parent. Whereas before, the biological parent could possibly stop by to take his child to the playground, those imprompt parenting sessions may become less feasible. As children begin to see less of their biological parent and spend more time with a step-parent, they might begin to prefer spending time with this person.
According to the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, very young children in particular might begin to consider a step-parent the primary parent because they see her more often and are most comfortable with her.
Blended families may begin making their own traditions, such as going on a yearly vacation to a fun theme park or planning big birthday celebrations. If a mother remarries a man who is more financially stable than her children’s biological father, the kids might begin to compare their dad to the new man in their life and find that their dad’s living situation pales in comparison to that of their step-father. The biological parent may also struggle with comparing his or herself to the step-parents, and then stop coming around as much because he feels inadequate. Children will pick up on these unfair comparisons and may begin to feel alienated towards the less actively involved parent.
Small children might begin to feel drawn to a step-parents who is making a great effort to win over their approval and affections and start to ignore a less enthusiastic biological parent. To help integrate a step-parent into a family, an absent biological father might be ignored or never mentioned in daily conversation. According to PBS Parents, when blended families pretend a biological parent does not exist, stress and feelings of parental alienation may increase.
Before a biological parent remarries, he or she might refrain from speaking poorly about an ex-spouse in front of the children. Once a step-parent enters the picture, the biological parent might enjoy the camaraderie of having someone to talk to about problems with the former partner. The parent and step-parent might not realize that children are listening or assume they are too young to understand. Instead of waiting until the children have gone to bed to vent about an angry encounter with the children’s father, a mother and step-father might start discussing the situation while they are cooking dinner. Even if the mother and step-parent do not believe the children are listening, they probably are, and they will begin to pick up on negative things being said about their biological parent. The American Psychological Association reports that young children might adopt those feelings about themselves over time and feel badly because of their biological connection with the other parent.
Every parents have to be very conscious about the impact of parental alienation in children . Even in its severity it can take the form of Parental alienation syndrome where you have to need a medical help to solve the issue.
You can try to reverse the parental alienation syndrome by loving them , treating them special , even though they don’t like the step parent in the initial you have to understand them and give time . As we all know “love” is always the best magic word to be used so don’t be a miser in using and showing love.