Parental alienation definition is when one parent attempts to alienate his or her child from the other. They either physically take the child away and deny the other from seeing the child, or influence the child into disliking or fearing the other until the child does not wish to have a relationship with them. Parental alienation turns into an issue of the preferred parent against the rebuffed parent. As a result, the children very much favor one parent over the other.
Keep on reading to know more about parental alienation definition.
Parental Alienation Definition: What is That Exactly?
Children are required by law to have a positive relationship with both parents. To do this, each parent must spend significant quality time with the child. Unfortunately, divorce is typically an unpleasant experience, and many parents allow their anger to spill over into their children’s lives. Alienation occurs when a parent separates a child from the other parent and incites anger or fear in the child towards the other parent.
The main weapons parents utilize to isolate their children against the other can include the following (check out carefully what forms parental alienation definition):
- Badmouthing. This sadly consists of putting the other parent down or telling the child that the other parent is crazy, insane, or in some way not good enough for the child’s affection.
- Restricting the Child’s Contact. Common examples of this include bringing the child to the other parent late, picking him or her up early, making excuses to detain the child during the other parent’s planned time, forbidding the child to get in touch with the other parent, or unreasonably phoning the child while he or she is with.
- Making the Child Snub the Other Parent. This involves making the child feel guilty for loving the other parent, creating conflict between the child and the other parent. The youngster may have to choose between his or her parents, and the estranged parent may discuss inappropriate topics with the child like details about their marriage or divorce.
- Damaging the Relationship of the Child with the Other Parent. Parental alienation occurs when one parent repeatedly tries to damage the relationship between their children and the other, custodial parent. This can take many forms, such as interrogating a child for information about their time spent with the other parent or trying to get them to snoop on the other parent. The alienating parent may also try to get the child to call the otherparent by their first name rather than ‘mom’ or ‘dad,’ or change the spelling of their own last name so that it doesn’t include the surname ofthe other parent.
- Challenging the Role of the Other Parent in the Child’s Life. Alienating a parent from their child can take many forms, such as refusing to share information about the child’s schooling or medical treatment with the other parent, not disclosing the other parent’s contact details to those in charge of the child’s education or extracurricular activities, or having a stepparent act as if they are the biological mother or father when dealing with school affairs and events. An alienated parent may also be left out of significant moments in their child’s life, such as birthday parties, graduations, conferences at school, plays and concerts.
What Are the Signs?
To have an extreme emotional bond with both parents is a natural need and right for children. Unfortunately, those separated from a parent (excluding abuse cases) are highly likely to suffer from PTSD. Additionally, there are specific characteristics which mental damage that alienation unknowingly imposes on them. Some indicators of parental alienation and its effects parental may include:
- Anger. Children who have been alienated from one parent may feel a deep anger towards this parent. This is often because the child becomes anxious when constantly exposed to one parent’s criticisms and allegations against the other. As a result, the child might not develop healthy skills for managing conflict or emotional pain, leading to easy frustration and irrational anger.
- Lack of Confidence. If a child believes that one parent is bad or undeserving, they will then see themselves as half bad or undeserving. This paradigm shift often leads to severe lack of confidence and can even provoke harmful actions.
- Inability to Control Impulses. If a child feels isolated, they might not have the self-awareness to make judgments about situations before taking action. This can lead them to lash out in anger or do impulsive things like fight, throw things, or make rash decisions.
- Separation Concern. If one parent trains their child to dislike the other, the child will become anxious about being separated from the parent they know and love. This anxiety is not only present when around the alienating parent, but also during activities like sleepovers or summer camp.
- Fears. A few estranged children become afraid of things that would remove them from the parent, for example going to school. They sometimes feign physical illness as an excuse to stay home—and keep the parent at home with them.
- Depression and Thoughts of Suicide. Parental alienation elevates the agony of the divorce for the children, resulting in depression and even suicide.
- Sleep Disorders. Children might find it hard to sleep, or even have nightmares, as they both fear the hazards the besieged parent presents to them and experience remorse over their part in the alienation.
- Eating Disorders. In their endeavors to get control over their lives and the actions of their parents, many isolated children develop eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and obesity.
- School Problems. Isolated children are more inclined to have more difficulties in school, from an incapacity to focus to trouble remembering their lessons. They might also frequently get in trouble for disobeying.
- Abusing Drugs and Alcohol. Even at extremely young ages, isolated children are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, which frequently results in other criminal activities.
Parental Alienation Syndrome
After parental alienation definition and signs, how to know is it a syndrome of parental alienation? If a parent is constantly trying to cause their child to resent the other parent, it can result in serious psychological damage. Most children will eventually cave and take sides due to coercion from the isolating parent. This is known as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and includes specific detrimental actions such as:
1. Crusade of Defamation. The youngster becomes fascinated with the shortcomings of the besieged parent and begins to despise that parent after choosing a side. This first phase occurs so rapidly that parents are frequently taken aback by their child’s transformation. Regarded as acceptable and rational, disliking a parent who has harmed the child is not evidence of PAS.
2. Ridiculous, Feeble, or Idle Reasons for Defamation. Complaints is included in parental alienation definition. It made by a child during a defamation campaign are frequently unfounded or insufficiently severe to cause a child to dislike a parent. For instance, a child may cite the parent’s refusal to allow him or her to consume spicy foods or watch specific films as the primary reason for his or her dislike of the parent.
3. Lack of Uncertainty. Normal child growth entails a degree of doubt regarding both parents. No parent is perfect, and children are inclined to be dissatisfied and hostile toward the constraints they impose. A youngster with PAS does not express uncertainty regarding the isolated parent. Alternately, the youngster immediately and unconsciously pushes himself or herself into supporting that parent, with no ambivalence about rejecting or disliking the parent who is being persecuted. A child with PAS considers one parent as entirely good and the other as entirely evil.
4. Free Thinker and Decision-Maker. When questioned about his or her exaggerated opinions of the besieged parent and the actions of the isolating parent, a kid with PAS typically asserts that his or her feelings are entirely his or her own. The isolating parent is quick to defend the child’s freedom to choose whether or not to see that parent.
5. Remorseless. Typically, children with PAS believe that their parent is unworthy to see them. The youngster feels no regret for excluding the parent and expresses no gratitude for the things the parent does for him or her or the presents given. Most children with PAS will attempt to influence the situation by obtaining whatever they can from the besieged parent, believing without a doubt that they are entitled to such presents because the besieged parent is such an awful person. PAS children are frequently egocentric, cunning, and vicious.
6. Isolating Parent’s Total Support. PAS children are unwilling to take a neutral stance on parental disputes. These youngsters subconsciously back the isolating parent and refuse to listen to the persecuted parent’s perspective.
7. Used Scenarios. When communicating with the isolating parent or court officials, PAS children frequently repeat phrases and ideas directly from the parent’s speech. The younger the child, the greater the likelihood that his or her speech contains words and concepts that he or she cannot even comprehend. For instance, a child may assert that he or she dislikes his or her father because he or she is a philanderer, despite being unaware of the term.
8. Resentment Toward the Extended Family of the Besieged Parent. Occasionally, a child with PAS may extend his or her hostility toward the besieged parent to that parent’s extended family. Additionally, the child will complain about these relatives, which may include grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and refuse to visit them. PAS children frequently miss important family events such as weddings, funerals, birthdays, and anniversaries as they reach adulthood.
And if you want to know about parental alienation against mother, explore what exactly parental alienation against mother involves and how best to tackle such situations if they arise.
Proving Parental Alienation
Since parental alienation causes lasting harm to the child, the family court system views it as a very serious offense. It is highly probable that a parent who aggressively isolates his or her children against the other parent will lose custody of those children and may even be restricted to supervised visitation.
A parent who is being targeted for parental alienation has both the right and duty to notify the court, although he or she must first establish that they are alienation victims. Taking specific actions will help a parent establish parental alienation. This includes the following:
- Keep a Journal. Keep track of any problems that come up when communicating with the parent who has custody, as well as anything the children say that came directly from the other parent. Make note of dates and times when visitation plans fall through or there are other issues, like if the other parent cancels last minute or doesn’t show up at all.
- Write Down the Actions of the Children. It is imperative to record atypical conduct and remarks made by the children, which can show the matter of alienation.
- Write Down Special Requests or Alterations Requested by the Isolating Parent. Isolating parents frequently request alterations to be made to visitation schedules, in addition to occasions with the children, then hold the besieged parent accountable.
- Heed the Warning Signs. Notice the indicators that a child is experiencing PAS. Record suspicious behaviors, as well as dates, times, and specific words or acts. Notice whether the child has secrets with the isolating parent. It is common for such parents to advise the child to keep something completely innocent, like going to a baseball game, or secret to create a bond with the child.
- Keep Unrestricted Communications with the Child. It is imperative for both parents to keep unrestricted communication with their children, clarifying that both parents love them. This does not imply questioning the children about the other parent, but to engage in a discussion on various subjects.
- Follow and Implement Every Custody Order. While this consists of actual visitation dates and times, it also consists of revealing details about the children. For example, custody orders usually demand both parents permit the other access to the child’s school records and activities, in addition to medical records and appointments. Refusing a parent access to such things is viewed as contradicting the child’s best interest.
When the evidence has been collected about parental alienation definition, the besieged parent can file a motion with the court to evaluate or alter child custody orders. In a few cases, the court might assign a guardian ad litem to stand for the best interest of the child, distinct from the parents’ representation.
What effects can parental alienation have on a child?
Parental alienation can have a wide range of effects on the child, including emotional and behavioral issues, difficulty forming relationships, guilt, confusion over loyalty to both parents, withdrawal from friends or family, and even depression.
What happens if I am accused of parental alienation?
If you are accused of parental alienation you will need to address your case in court, and demonstrate that you have acted in the best interests of your child. You may also wish to seek legal advice before proceeding.
What is the difference between parental alienation definition and estrangement definition?
Parental alienation indicates an active attempt to undermine or sabotage the relationship between a parent and their child. Estrangement implies that there is an emotional distance between a parent and their child, with no active attempt to drive them apart.
What are the legal ramifications of parental alienation?
The legal ramifications of parental alienation can vary state by state, but in some cases it may result in changes to custody or visitation rights. It is important to be aware of your local laws and regulations, and seek legal advice if necessary.
Parental alienation is an unviable long-term strategy for a parent seeking full custody of their children. It does nothing but damage the child’s mental wellbeing in order to punish one parent. In simpler terms, it is wrong for one parent to keep the other completely out of their child’s life. This can only be done if there is a justified reason, such as the safety of the child, and even then sole custody must be pursued through family court. Look out for this parental alienation definition, signs and syndrome to avoid.