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What are the signs of parental alienation?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2021 | Family Law |

Parental alienation occurs in a high conflict divorce where a child strongly identifies with one parent, usually the custodial parent. As a result, the child ends up hating the other parent without any justifiable reason. The alienation is typically instigated by the alienating parent, who pressures the child to develop negative feelings toward the other parent.

By interfering with the parent-child relationship, the alienated parent is not the only one who suffers. The child also experiences the loss of the alienated parent, and they are likely to feel angry and neglected. In addition, the child may take on some traits of the alienating parent, such as the lack of empathy or manipulative behavior. It is essential to watch out for signs of parental alienation, which may include:

Unjust criticism

Children experiencing parental alienation may lash out at you or severely criticize you without reason. They will rarely have anything positive to say, and if you engage in fun activities with them, they may ask you to keep it from the other parent.

Absence of guilt

Since the alienating parent has manipulated the child into thinking you are the bad guy, the child does not have any remorse toward their harsh treatment of the alienated parent. In some cases, they may act ungrateful or cold, no matter the kind gestures you extend to them.

Rejection of extended family

Your child may not want anything to do with your side of the family. Their resentment may extend to relatives on your side, and relationships with the child’s uncles, aunts or grandparents may be suddenly strained.

Unconditional support for the alienating parent

Your child will often support the alienating parent and have unconditional loyalty to them. Everything the other parent does is deemed the right thing, which is not the case for you.

It is vital to recognize parental alienation early enough and put a stop to it. If you think your child may have experienced parental alienation, their welfare and relationship with you may be at stake. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of the steps to take in rectifying the situation.