Parental alienation is a phrase that many divorcing parents fear. There is nothing worse than going into a divorce with a happy, loving child who then suddenly turns on a parent and wants nothing to do with him or her. Parental alienation could be the cause.
In cases of parental alienation, a parent brainwashes a child against the target parent. For example, a mother who does not want her child to love his father or want anything to do with him might start saying negative things about the father at all times, or she might forbid her child from talking about him. It's not a single day of frustration coming out. Instead, the parent's behavior is planned and designed to make the child dislike the target. This is not appropriate behavior and can lead to the child rejecting the other parent, resulting in parental alienation.
Usually, this kind of alienation only occurs during child custody disputes. In a parental alienation case, the target parent typically has done nothing to deserve the alienation of the child. Instead, the child is turned against the parent due to the behaviors of others around him or her.
Parental alienation doesn't just affect the parent and child in the short-term. For some, the alienation ends up running so deep that the child truly believes the other parent is a negative influence or is dangerous. This can mean a lifetime of pain for the target parent and anger or distress for a child.
Around one percent of children in North America suffer from parental alienation. If you believe this is beginning to take place in your child custody case, speak up. Your attorney can help you protect yourself, your children and your relationship with them.
Source: Psychology Today, "The Impact of Parental Alienation on Children," Edward Kruk Ph.D., accessed May 16, 2017