What Is Parental Alienation?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county custody mediation; California Divorce MediatorsThe act of intentionally distancing one parent from the child by the other parent is called parental alienation. It is a form of psychological abuse. The child gets affected here. Parental alienation is an intentional act of malice that will create a chasm between one parent and the child. Parents with bitter relationships indulge in such acts. One parent brain washes the child against the other parent and plays the victim.

It is very difficult to foresee parental alienation. You realize its effects only after it has caused irreparable damage. Sometimes the first signs of parental alienation are revealed by the children themselves. Your child may blurt out ‘daddy or mommy said so and so about you …’. You will realize that your child is being slowly turned against you.

Types of parental alienation

Most commonly, there are 5 different types of parental alienation. But these are not the only ones. There may be more.

  • One parent or the child making hurtful and accusatory comments about the other parent or any other close family member.
  • One parent neglecting the authority and the discipline of the other parent.
  • One parent trying to replace the other parent with someone else who is not suitable of taking care of the children.
  • One parent falsely accusing the other parent of abuse.
  • One parent playing the victim of hurtful or harsh behavior from the other parent.

There is possibly only one way of preventing parental alienation. The most effective way of preventing it is by spending more time with your child. Children, if they can spend quality time with you, will not feel alienated. If they feel that they can connect with you they will not want to hear unjust things about you. The better your relationship with your children the less likely are they to be influenced by the other parent.

Alternatively, you could confront the other parent and demand them to stop indulging in such manipulative behavior. You could ask your spouse to explain their behavior and refrain themselves from such malicious behavior in the future.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation