Parentís Conflict that has a Negative Impact on the Children
Neil S. Grossman, Ph.D.
The following are things children have told me where one or both of their divorced parents
created problems for them.
- Ask child to carry messages.
- Ask child to carry hostile messages.
- Ask intrusive questions about other parent.
- Create a need in child to hide information.
- Create a need to conceal feelings about the other parent.
- Ask child to spy on other parents.
- Parent behaving verbally or physically aggressive or having poor impulse control.
- "Donít talk" to other parent.
- Act disrespectful to other parent.
- Interfere with other parentís discipline.
- "Bad mouth" other parent.
- Tell child how difficult it will be for you if he/she does not live with you.
- Parents donít communicate and ask child to get information.
- Seek favor of child so he/she will be on your side.
- Fight in front of child.
- Mention childís name during an argument, in presence of child.
- When child complains about other parent, remind child that they have the power to choose whom to live with.
- Discuss good and bad traits/behavior of other parents with child.
- Make it difficult for other parent.
- Tell child about the trial.
- Donít let other parent know when you will leave with child or return child.
- In presence of child or to the child, blame the other parent for the childís problems.
- Play on childís sense of responsibility for the parentís problems.
- Play on childís insecurity about losing the parent.
- Tell the child about the other parentís accusation in the court papers.
- Verify with the child the other parentís accusations in the court papers.
- Display unmodulated affect or anxiety in front of the child.
- Blame or accuse child or acting like the other parent.
- Blame or accuse child of liking the other parent more.
- Give special attention to the child to get him/her on your side.
- Tell child about the coupleís conflict.
- Call the other parent names in front of the child.
- Threaten to reject the child, e.g., "If you donít behave Iíll send you to live with ________(other parent)."
- Ask childís opinion of the other parent.
- Complain about the other parentís inadequacies to the child.
- Tell the child you donít have money to buy him/her something because of the other parent.
- Insist the child take your side.
- Blame the child for taking the other parentís side.
- When the child misbehaves say, "Your just like your _______(other parent)."
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