Parents in Florida and elsewhere are ideally looking out for the best interest of their children after a divorce. However, there are times when they try to use their children to punish their former spouses. In some cases of parental alienation, the manipulating parent will convince the child that he or she is the one responsible for acting out against the other parent.
Other signs may include a child asking a parent to not take part in his or her activities. This might be a request to not go to a baseball game or not attend meetings at school. The custodial parent may also make it difficult for the other parent to find out when activities take place. Children who have been coached to not like their other parent may be defiant or otherwise take rude actions against their parents.
The goal may be to get that other parent to react angrily or otherwise provoke a strong reaction. Defiance may be seen in children who have no history of it. Children may also have trouble remembering any good times with that parent or may be told to forget about them. In general, a parent may be described as incompetent or otherwise not good enough to spend time with the child.
Parents who are going through child custody proceedings may benefit from considering the needs of the child over their own. Typically, both parents will be given time to interact with the child. Therefore, it may be better for the adults and the children to work together to create solutions that benefit all parties. In some cases, badmouthing a parent or taking similar actions may result in that person losing custody, visitation or other rights to the child.