Hostile Aggressive Parenting: Is It a Form of Child Abuse? (Pt 1)

January 31, 2018 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Pointing fingers
A hostile aggressive parent manipulates a child and sometimes turns them against their other parent.

Hostile Aggressive parenting may not be the most well known term, but many parents are intimately familiar with it’s toxic results! So what does it mean, and why does it count as a form of child abuse? We’ve had many parents ask us about this in recent months, and we think it’s time to unpack this complex topic. Let’s take a look…

What is hostile aggressive parenting?

Hostile Aggressive parenting is generally defined as a pattern of behaviours engaged in by certain parents that:

  1. Creates unnecessary difficulties in the relationship a child shares with another person, usually their other parent,
  2. Promotes or maintains an unwarranted inequality in the parenting arrangements between a child and their other parent,
  3. Promotes ongoing conflict between a child and their other parent, which has a direct effect on that parent’s ability to care for or have a relationship with the child.

So what does hostile aggressive parenting look like?

Hostile aggressive parenting, also sometimes called toxic parenting, is one parent’s poisonous efforts to disrupt a child’s relationship with their other parent. The result is often parental alienation, which is the tragic but unwarranted destruction of a parent/child relationship! This manipulation can take many forms, including:

  • If one parent tells the child lies about the other parent, for example, “Your dad doesn’t care about you! That’s why he never pays child support – because you’re not important to him!” Or “Your mom only pretends that she wants to see you. The truth is she doesn’t love you and thinks you’re a pain in the butt!”
  • If one parent blames the other parent for their difficulties (financial problems, shortages, emotional problems) in front of the children. That way, the children receive constant negative reinforcement about the other parent, who they learn is the reason for all their problems.
  • If one parent acts as if the other parent is a threat to them or the child. Acting as if the child isn’t safe when they’re with their other parent, or as if they have to hide certain things from the other parent, lest they incite their anger. Pretending that the other parent is a threat teaches children that they have a reason to fear them.

Is your child the victim of hostile aggressive parenting from your ex?

Hostile aggressive parenting is emotional and psychological child abuse! If you believe your ex, or soon-to-be-ex is abusing your children in order to “punish you”, you need to discuss this with your attorney immediately! Some parents will engage in abusive behaviors in order to get a better child custody agreement during a divorce. Others use it as a way to get back at the other parent for perceived wrongs. Whatever the reason, it’s the children who pay the highest price!

At The Kronzek Firm, our skilled attorneys understand exactly what’s involved in these sorts of situations. Because we handle hundreds of divorces each year, and also defend countless parents against allegations of abuse, we know how to help you protect yourself and your children. Call 866 766 5245 to discuss your situation with an attorney. And be sure to join us next time to continue this discussion on hostile aggressive parenting! You won’t be sorry!