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What If Your Child Chooses One Parent Over the Other in Divorce?

Parenting during divorce is not easy. One of the hardest things to deal with is if your child seems to choose you or your co-parent over the other. Divorced parents may ask themselves: “Does this mean I’ve been a bad parent?” If your child is attaching to one parent it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done something wrong.

Should I Go Back to Parenting Bootcamp?

Parents going through a California divorce have every reason to be stressed out. You’re living in San Diego and adjusting to the demands of Pandemic parenting. Your employer may or may not be understanding. The cost of living is high and dividing your household in two will reduce your standard of living.

It’s possible that you have made some parenting errors. However, there is a difference between your child going through a difficult phase, and your child turning their back on you. It’s important to recognize the difference between “parental alienation” (a term that parents may be fearful of), and “parental estrangement.” Though parental alienation is a topic that is newsworthy and controversial, it usually only happens in high conflict scenarios.

Parental alienation is when a child has been influenced by one parent or the parenting relationship to such an extent that they choose one parent over the other. This usually happens due to manipulation by one parent and is very serious and detrimental for a child’s development. Parental estrangement, on the other hand is when the child reacts against one parent due to stress or trauma.

The good news is that the way you handle your divorce can help your child adjust to these feelings. In almost all cases it is just a phase. When you choose divorce mediation to resolve your divorce, you can have a low-conflict divorce which models a better parenting relationship for your child. You can also learn parenting skills during your divorce mediation sessions.

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Divorce Mediation and Your Relationship With Your Child

The mediators at Divorce Options San Diego have psychoanalytical expertise and can assist you in predicting your child’s reactions based on their developmental age and attachment needs. Sometimes what seems scary to a parent is an expression of a child’s need to act out or seek care and security. We can help you and your divorcing spouse to mediate not only your divorce but also your parenting relationship. If a child is gravitating to one parent, co-parents can learn to support each other as the child moves through this phase.

Our Services and How We Can Help

We are highly qualified California divorce mediators and certified financial planners with psychoanalytical expertise who build divorce around conflict resolution, closure and practical solutions for your future life. At Divorce Options San Diego we reframe divorce as an opportunity to generate creative, optimized solutions for your future and your kids’ future. We do not do adversarial divorce. Instead, we empower divorcing spouses to own their divorce and craft sustainable, effective mutual agreements that will last long after the divorce is finalized. We can streamline your divorce by providing essential services, from paperwork, court documents and financial analysis, through divorce transition coaching, life coaching and interior design. Divorce Options San Diego puts a high premium on a peaceful, child-centered divorce. We use developmental psychology, attachment theory, psychology of grieving and family systems psychology to help you and your children through a difficult emotional transition. We help divorcing parents draft multi-phase parenting plans considering the child’s developmental needs. These parenting plans are lightweight, flexible, but in compliance with California law. We help co-parents build parenting plans that will withstand the challenges of parenting, recognizing that children need to move through the process of divorce at their own pace. At Divorce Options San Diego we emphasize an efficient, caring process that leaves out no detail relevant to your situation. This allows you to get on with your life and care for your kids and yourself during and after your divorce. We have offices in Solana Beach, CA. Safe, socially distanced mediations can be facilitated by Telephone, Zoom, Facetime and other videoconferencing tools if necessary. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.