What are the signs of parental alienation?

On Behalf of | May 8, 2023 | Divorce |

Parental alienation is defined by children identifying strongly with one parent while rejecting the other. The alienating parent often pressures children into embracing them and rejecting their other parent. For example, one parent may use guilt to keep kids loyal to them while criticizing the other parent openly.

Alienation can put a rift between you and your children. Not to mention, severe parental alienation can be a form of child abuse. To stop parental alienation, you have to be able to recognize it.

Children may react angrily, without justification or guilt

While divorce is stressful for the entire family and children may respond with anger, if your child only reacts to you with anger or hatred, you may want to consider whether your ex is trying to alienate you.

When kids fight with their parents, they may say hurtful things, but typically, kids will apologize later or feel bad about it. Kids under the control of an alienating parent will feel no guilt at all.

Children will not show anger toward their other parent

Kids tend to defend the alienating parent and show unwavering support. They will never blame the alienated parent for their feelings and will only talk about how good the other person is. They may ask you to keep it a secret if they have positive feelings toward you or have fun with you during visitation. Children under the influence of parental alienation will feel guilty or as if they betrayed the alienating parent.

Listen to how your child talks about you. If he or she repeats the same stories or phrases your ex-spouse does, he or she may be mirroring the alienating parent’s feelings.