A History Of Growing Trust In Kentucky

3 indicators of parental alienation

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | family law

Parental alienation is when one parent attempts to manipulate their children’s feelings towards the other parent, often resulting in the child rejecting or showing hostility towards the alienated parent. The alienation can take the form of lies, false accusations, “bad guy” labeling and other smearing tactics.

It can have serious consequences for the child’s emotional and mental state and the parent-child relationship in the long- and short term. Certain signs indicate alienation may be an influence in children’s lives.

1. Negative comments

One of the most common signs of parental alienation is when a child consistently makes negative comments about one parent. The child may blame the alienated parent for the divorce or other issues within the family, even if there is no evidence to support these claims and refuse to listen to any rationale that goes against his or her view. Often, such comments are echoes of the alienating parent’s words.

2. Lack of empathy

Alienated children may show a lack of empathy towards the alienated parent. They may be dismissive of the parent’s feelings or experiences and may not show any interest in spending time with them or hearing their side of things.

They may justify the alienating parent’s behavior, even if it is harmful or inappropriate, regardless of how much it hurts the other parent. They may believe that the alienated parent deserves poor treatment.

3. Disrespectful behavior

While acting out is not uncommon after a divorce, alienated children may display atypical disrespect, hostility and even hatred towards the targeted parent. They may refuse to acknowledge the parent’s authority or care in any way, denying any past positive experiments and seeking to degrade him or her.

Parental alienation can impact children’s mental and emotional well-being and create a hostile environment. Parents who recognize signs of it may need to investigate or even ask for court intervention.