Parental alienation is the process, and the result, of psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent and/or other family members. It’s a real concern in many custody cases. To prevent the devastating effects of Parental Alienation, you must begin by recognizing the symptoms of PA.
You will notice that many of the symptoms or behaviors focus on the parent. When the child exhibits hatred and vilifies the targeted parent, then the condition becomes parental alienation syndrome. The majority of children want contact with both parents on a regular basis, and the most common preference among children, and among adults looking back on their parents’ divorce, is for parenting plans that more evenly balance their time between homes.
Some children, though, do not crave more time with an absent parent. Instead, these children reject one parent, resist contact, or show extreme reluctance to be with the parent. These children are alienated. In some cases, children have good reasons to reject a deficient parent. In other cases, children reject a parent with whom they previously had a good relationship, often paralleling their other parent’s negative attitudes. The children’s treatment of the rejected parent is disproportionate to that parent’s behavior and inconsistent with the prior history of the parent-child relationship.