Hostile Aggressive Parenting: Is It a Form of Child Abuse? (Pt 4)

February 9, 2018 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Drawing of crying child
Children abused by hostile aggressive parents feel guilty for loving their other parent!

Welcome back and thanks for joining us for the final installment in our four-part series on hostile aggressive parenting If you’re just joining us now, we recommend you take a few minutes to get caught up on exactly what this is, and why experts consider it to be a form of child abuse. If you’ve already read up on how hostile aggressive parenting can lead to parental alienation, and what the signs and symptoms are, we’d like to close this topic with a look at one very important issue – exactly what hostile aggressive parent do to achieve their toxic results.

How to hostile aggressive parents act towards children?

Hostile aggressive parenting can take many different forms. There is no “one way” to poison a child’s relationship with their other parent. However, what all of them have in common is that their words and actions are harmful to their children. This list doesn’t include every action taken by hostile aggressive parents, but it includes the more common ones:

Common signs that someone is a toxic parent:

  • Making slanderous statements about the other parent to the child. Particularly about things that aren’t true. Examples would include calling the other parent a thief, a criminal, a liar or a threat to personal safety.
  • Making unfounded allegations of physical, psychological or sexual abuse
  • Refusing to acknowledge a child’s desire to see their other parent
  • Refusing to allow a child to have contact with their other parent – this includes contact in person, or via text, phone call, email, social media, facetime or any other method.
  • Giving the child too many details about the reasons for the divorce, or about what the other parent did to cause the failure of the relationship.
  • Blaming the other parent in front of the child for life’s difficulties, like financial problems, and reduced living conditions.
  • Refusing to allow the child to take any of their belongings to the other parent’s home, thereby making the parent’s home feel less “homey” to the child, and implying to the child that the other parent is untrustworthy.
  • Denying the other parent access to important information about the child, including medical records, school report cards, and extra curricular schedules.
  • Insisting that the child spy on the other parent, and report back on their activities, lifestyle choices and home life.
  • Intentionally scheduling the child’s events at times they know will be inconvenient for the other parent, so as to make participation difficult for the other parent.
  • Discussing fun activities in front of the child that they will miss due to visitation with the other parent, or implying that spending time with the other parent is an unpleasant obligation that the child should be pitied for having to endure.
  • Eavesdropping on the child’s phone conversations with the other parent (which is actually against the law here in Michigan!)

Sometimes good parents screw up!

All of these are clear indicators of a hostile aggressive parent. However, bear in mind that one or two occasional bad parenting choices do not make a parent hostile or aggressive, it makes them normal. We are all human, and we all make mistakes.  So don’t be paranoid if you ex happens to schedule one of your child’s events at a time that doesn’t work for you – sometimes scheduling conflicts are unavoidable. But if this list reminds you of your ex’s regular approach to co parenting, you are very likely dealing with a hostile aggressive parent.

Do you need help dealing with a toxic ex?

At the Kronzek Firm we understand that divorces can be very complicated, and not everyone involved has the children’s best interests at heart. We also know that some toxic exes are good at convincing the court that it is their former partners, and not them, who are harming their children. As skilled attorneys who handle both child abuse defense and family law, we know how to work around the manipulations of our client’s exes, and help the court reach a decision that is both fair, and keeps the child’s best interest at heart.

So if you or a loved one are in need help working through a divorce, sorting out your custody or visitation, or dealing with the challenges of a toxic ex, we can help! The experienced Michigan attorneys at the The Kronzek Firm have spent decades helping the people of Michigan with all of their divorce and custody needs. Call 866 766 5245 to discuss your situation with a compassionate divorce attorney today.