While most parents only want what is best for their children, there are those who are more focused on “winning” than the child’s best interest. Some may even go so far as to commit parental alienation. In today’s post, you will learn more about parental alienation, including how to determine if your child may be a victim, and what actions can be taken to protect the child.
What is Parental Alienation?
Minor issues, such as arguments in front of the kids and ill-spoken words are fairly common in the initial stages of a divorce or separation. Though still harmful, these negative behaviors typically dissipate over time. Each parent heals from their grief or anger, sees the nature of their wrongs, and strives to improve for the benefit of the child.
Parental alienation is different, specifically in terms of severity and the long-term continuance of the offending parent’s poor behavior. Their reasons behind it are varied (i.e. a need or desire to control, fear of losing the child’s love or affection, wanting to hurt or get even with the other parent), but the results are often devastatingly similar. The child suffers mentally and emotionally and, as a result, they may develop maladjustment issues, such as an identity crisis, depression, or even outright hatred toward a parent that they once loved dearly.
Brainwashing and programming are other words often used to describe the actions being carried out by the offending parent. The intent is also a concern; whereas the initial issues after a divorce may stem from grief, pain, or fear, parental alienation is often born out of a desire to hurt, harm, or control the other parent.
Parental Alienation Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of parental alienation may vary, based on the child or the situation. However, there are some commonalities that parents tend to notice, such as:
- Constant, consistent, and unfair criticism of the alienated parent;
- A lack of justification for the child’s negative feelings toward the alienated parent (meaning, they cannot seem to come up with a reason, or their reasons contain adult-sounding verbiage);
- Unwavering support for the alienating parent;
- No guilt over the mistreatment of the alienated parent;
- Hatred or anger that includes the alienated parent’s extended family; and
- The child references and may retell (or claim to recall) negative stories about the alienated parent, but the retelling of them sounds “programmed.”
Suspect Parental Alienation? Contact Our Wheaton Family Law Attorneys
Parental alienation can be extremely difficult to prove in a courtroom, which is why alienated parents are encouraged to seek skilled legal counsel with their case. Protect your rights and the well-being of your children by calling Davi Law Group, LLC for a consultation. Our seasoned DuPage County divorce attorneys can be reached at 630-580-6373.