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How to spot and react to parental alienation

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Family Law |

Parental alienation occurs when one parent manipulates a child to reject the other parent. Recognizing its signs early is crucial. These signs can include the child expressing unjustified hostility towards one parent, mimicking negative language or accusations used by the alienating parent, or showing an unwillingness to spend time with the targeted parent without a clear reason. These behaviors often stem from the alienating parent’s influence rather than the child’s personal experiences.

Common tactics used in parental alienation

Parents engaging in alienation might use various tactics to turn the child against the other parent. These can include:

  • Badmouthing: speaking negatively about the other parent.
  • Limiting contact: Restricting or interfering with visitation times.
  • Emotional manipulation: Making the child feel guilty for wanting to spend time with the other parent.
  • False accusations: Accusing the other parent of harmful behavior without evidence.

How to respond to parental alienation

If you suspect parental alienation, it’s important to alert your family court. First, document all instances and behaviors that indicate alienation. Maintain consistent and positive communication with your child. Remember to focus on reassurance and expressing your love without criticizing the other parent. Consider seeking the help of a family therapist who can provide professional guidance and support for both you and your child.

The impact of addressing alienation

Addressing parental alienation can help repair and maintain the relationship between the child and the targeted parent. It fosters a healthier emotional environment for the child, ensuring they receive love and support from both parents. Understanding and reacting to alienation can make a significant difference in your child’s well-being and long-term relationship with both parents.


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