Parental alienation in theory means to isolate a child or children from the other parent. This is done through words and conduct. The purpose of the alienation is to create an estrangement or hostility between the parent and the child. This causes a victimization of the parent.
Warning Signs For Parental Alienation
The are warning signs that parental alienation is taking place. The first signs of parental alienation usually deal with one parent disparaging the other parent to the child. The parent which seeks to alienate the other parent speaks negatively about the other parent in front of the child. This can involve issues such as this person causing a divorce or separation. In addition the parent may allow third parties to make negative comments in front of the child about the other parent. The third parties can be grandparents, other individuals or siblings who are in the room or within ear shot of the child.
Good Parent and Bad Parent
Getting a child involved in issues concerning the divorce or child custody case can also be a means of alienating the child from the parent by placing blame on the other parent for the break up of the relationship of the parents. The parent who is doing the alienation will present themselves as the good person and the alienated parent as the bad person responsible for all the problems that exist in the family.
Destruction of Parents Authority
When one parent impacts negatively on the relationship between the child and the other parent to the point of destroying the other parents parental authority is another means of creating alienation. In these cases the child can be brought to believe the other parental authority should not be considered to be important. The parent who is being alienated may be subject to ridicule and seem less important to the child as a person of authority he or she should be paying attention to. Children who feel a parent who no longer has their best interests at heart may rebel against that parent. The loss of respect of the parent and the interference with the communication and the bond between the child and their parent reinforces the alienation.
The Different Between a Parent and a Friend
Children need structure. It is the duty of a parent to see to it that the children of the parties behave in an appropriate manner. Go to bed on time, do homework, bathe on a regular basis and comply with basic responsibilities. One of the ways for one parent to alienate a child from the other parent is to eliminate the child from having any responsibility when that child is with the alienating parent. Examples of this is leaving up to the child when they want to see the other parent instead of instructing the child when the other parent has parenting time allocated to him or her. Creating an illusion of freedom for the child when one parent has the child and lets that child do anything he or she wants while the other parent seeks to set boundaries and is labeled for doing this as being a not loving parent.
There is a type of parental alienation where a mother will have a boyfriend who she seeks to substitute in place of the father. This is sometimes referred to as parental substitution. In these cases the mother with help from her fiancé or her boyfriend will denigrate the father in front of the child or influence the child to believe the boyfriend would be a better substitution for the father.
If you suspect parental alienation is taking place with one of your children it is extremely important to obtain a qualified an attorney dealing with these issues as soon as possible The longer you wait to deal with who is experienced these problems the more difficult it is to undo parental alienation.
Elliot S. Schlissel is a divorce lawyer who has been helping clients in all aspects of matrimonial and family law from more than 40 years. Elliot and his team of Family Law Attorneys help their clients throughout the metropolitan New York area