Parental alienation syndrome occurs when a child is indoctrinated by one parent into believing negative things about their other parent. This can leave their relationship deeply strained — or even destroy it.
Usually, parental alienation is caused by one parent who is saying negative things about the other. They may try to manipulate their children onto their “side” during a divorce, which is harmful to the child’s relationship with the other parent.
How can you recognize the signs of parental alienation?
If you want to recognize the signs of parental alienation, some of the things to watch out for include:
- A child who is angry toward a parent but cannot express a reason for that anger or has weak reasoning for it
- A child continues to repeat that they came up with their reasons for hating the parent on their own, asserting that no one influenced them even when they were not asked
- The child has no guilt or upset when hurting the alienated parent
- The child makes up scenarios that they were hurt in, even though they never happened
- The child’s behaviors change rapidly and show no signs of ambivalence, only hatred toward the alienated parent
Without a doubt, having a child who is alienated from you feels terrible and is a shock that is hard to bear. There are steps you can take to stop that kind of indoctrination, though, if you recognize it soon enough.
What can you do to stop parental alienation?
The courts have seen these kinds of situations before, and often consider it a form of child abuse.
Gather as much evidence as you can and talk to your attorney about the red flags you’re seeing. You may need to ask the court to address the problem or seek full custody to remove the children from the other parent’s care.