What is parental alienation and how can I tell if it’s happening to my kids?


Parental alienation is defined as the successful efforts of one parent – typically estranged or divorced – to undermine the reputation, authority and relationship the other parent has with the couple’s children. If mom or dad, whether intentionally or subconsciously, speak so ill of the other parent that the child begins to dislike the other parent and reject the relationship, parental alienation is happening.  Bad mojo.

Parental alienation can be devastating to both the child and the alienated parent.  In severe cases, the child won’t want to see or talk to the alienated parent as a result.  Once the alienation reaches this point, it is difficult to reverse and the damage to the child and to the relationship between the child and the alienated parent can be prolonged or even permanent.

Parental Alienation deprives children of their right to be loved by both parents and to show love for both parents.  The effects of this alienation will become apparent as the child’s mental and emotional well-being will be affected.

  • To determine if parental alienation is happening to your kids, look for these symptoms
  • A sudden, prolonged change in attitude between child and parent
  • Extreme loyalty to the alienating parent
  • Rejection or suspicion of the alienated parent
  • School problems
  • Trouble adjusting to different home environments
  • Over-identifying or repeating self-destructive behavior of the alienating parent
  • Blaming, shaming by the children and a demand for the alienated parent to admit their “wrongs” to the child
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion about things that were formerly clear
  • Self-destructive behavior such as abusing drugs or alcohol or self-harming behavior

Parental alienation is most often present in high conflict marriages, separation or divorce. Most people do not know about Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting until they experience it.  We here at The Lifeworks Group know it all to well and have been helping families for years.

There are many reasons and causes for parental alienation and each situation is different.  We want to help you learn to co-parent productively to prevent the devastating effects of parental alienation.

There are times, of course, when one parent is not willing to cooperate, but that does not mean you can’t still do your part.  Give us a call today and let us educate you and help you and your children through this difficult time.