Parental Alienation Syndrome is the purposeful act of one parent with the purpose of distancing their child or children from the other parent. The aim is to dismantle the bond that unites the child or children with the other (usually noncustodial) parent. There can be many reasons for a parent to do this. Sometimes, it is done as a form of punishment as the instigating parent sees it as a way of delivering justice for some alleged act of wrongdoing. Sometimes the acts can be the result of a mental health-oriented personality disorder that comes to the fore in a stressful situation, preventing them from acting and reacting rationally.
Read on to learn more how parental alienation is something that may develop over a period of time and how the early signs of parental alienation syndrome can be identified.
Encouraging Acts of Anger Towards the Other Parent
A parent will be critical or talk in a dismissive manner regarding the other parent to the child or children. These may be blatant negative statement or more subtle jibes designed to erode the confidence the child or children has in the other parent. They may claim a new item of clothing or something that is needed for school cannot be purchased and the child or children are told this is because the other parent has decided to spend the money on someone else or something else. The whole purpose is to develop insecure feelings in the child or children towards the parent.
Subtle Attempts Promoting Anger
This often happens when one parent purposefully speaks poorly of the other parent to the child or children. Although they may not address the child or children directly, they will ensure the child or children is within earshot when making derogatory comments to other people about the parent. A more direct example would be to attribute to the child or children that the other parent did not care enough about the child or children or the marriage relationship. Essentially, the parent causes and then exploits the emotional turmoil the child or children experience.
The Sharing of Details
When a parent indulges in parental alienation, they often tell the child or children of the divorce process and report to the child or children the ongoing conflict between the parents, attributing the cause and the blame of the conflict to the other parent. This may include the discussion of financial problems, or blaming the other parent for legal issues, often with the emphasis of presenting how the scenario would be easier if the other parent was not so mean in their actions. This can cause the child or children to feel angry at the other parent and a feeling of responsibility of guilt.
Sending Negative Messages
A parent can utilize body language to show their displeasure regarding the other parent to the child or children. The child or children may witness the parent rolling their eyes, shaking their head, throwing their arms around and other physical actions when describing what the other parent supposedly said or did. Often this non-verbal communication has a large impact on the child or children.
Refusing to Co-Parent Properly
When one parent refuses to co-parent in the agreed way with the other parent and then blames that parent to the child or children it can cause a great deal of damage. Children may be told this is because the other parent is always angry or does not want to associate with the child or children.
Making False Accusations
Sometimes a parent may make unfounded accusations ranging from emotional, physical and even sexual abuse from the other parent towards the child or the children. This obviously is a very serious set of allegations to make and can have very dire consequences, both emotional and legal. When the child or children is too young to talk, a medical examination must take place as well as a psychiatric evaluation whenever there is an accusation or suspicion of abuse. The damage that can be done between a parent and a child or children can be permanent even if the allegations are totally untrue. Often the child or children are left with unresolved conflicts and nowhere else to turn. The child or children also have the issue they have little to no input into the conflict they are being involved in. it can be a horrendous price for the child or children to pay when one parent is lying regarding the other parent in such a serious manner.
Refusal to Communicate
If one parent cannot or will not communicate effectively to transfer information regarding the life and wellbeing of the child or children, it is at least a possibility this is an attempt for the parent to isolate the child or children from the other parent.
Source: Group, DiPietro Law. “7 Signs Your Ex Is Engaging in Parental Alienation.” DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, 10 Feb. 2016, https://www.dipietropllc.com/blog/2016/february/7-signs-your-ex-is-engaging-in-parental-alienati/
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