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Parental alienation: How parental alienation becomes child abuse

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2023 | FAMILY LAW - Family Law |

Parental alienation is a concept that professionals have acknowledged for decades. It occurs when one parent encourages his or her children to reject the other parent. The alienating parent often manipulates the children into siding with them and developing a hatred for the other parent.

With parental alienation, the children have no justifiable reason to lash out or reject the other parent. For instance, in cases of child abuse or domestic violence, kids might reject a parent for a justifiable reason. However, parental alienation does not include these instances. Parental alienation does not only harm the alienated parent but also the child.

Parental alienation pins children against their parent

Kids require a stable, loving environment. Divorce can shake up children’s stability, but it becomes worse when they have an alienator for a parent. They lose half of their support system, to the extent that it may feel as though the alienated parent dies. The alienator can make children feel guilty for wanting to spend time with the other parent.

Alienation creates feelings of neglect

Alienating parents will feed their children stories about the alienated parent to keep them from siding with them at any cost. For example, an ex-spouse may tell his or her kids stories about the divorce or claim that the other parent doesn’t care about them. They may pretend the parent never calls or wants no contact with them. In response, children become angrier at their parent and feel neglected and unloved.

In severe cases of parental alienation, the court may have to remove the children from the alienating parent.