In divorce and custody, emotions run high and often one side turns against the other. But what happens when one parent turns their child against the other parent? Parental alienation.
What exactly is parental alienation? According to experts, it is a group of behaviors that are damaging to children’s mental and emotional well-being, and can interfere with a relationship of a child and either parent. The behaviors can be verbal or non-verbal and may cause a child to fear, blame, or disrespect an otherwise loving and supportive parent.
Here are some of the common examples of parental alienation that we see:
- One parent blaming the other parent for financial problems, breaking up the family, having a significant other, etc.
- Telling the child too much about the marriage or the divorce proceedings.
- Making the child had two of everything instead of allowing them to transport possessions between the parents’ residences.
- Not allowing the other parent to have access to information for school medical or extracurricular activities.
- Using the child to spy on or gather information on the other parent.
- Listening in on the children’s phone conversations with the other parent.
- Giving the children a choice about the parenting time and visits when the Court orders do not allow for it.
The list goes on and on. It is important to recognize and address parental alienation as it not only harms the parent and child relationship, but can also be emotionally damaging for the child.
For more information about Parental Alienation check out:
Parental Alienation Awareness Organization http://www.paawareness.org/
Douglas Darnall, Ph.D. http://www.parentalalienation.org/index.html