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Understanding Parental Alienation and Its Lasting Impact

Understanding Parental Alienation and Its Lasting Impact With A Plainfield Divorce Lawyer

Parental alienation is the emotional manipulation of a child by one parent towards the other parent. The goal of parental alienation – whether the offender recognizes it or not – is to manipulate the child’s feelings about the other parent and to eventually push the other parent out of the child’s life. This is done through a series of ongoing actions and statements. For instance, the alienating parent may tell the child that the other parent does not want to see him or her, when in actuality, the cannot because they are working late. Or, the alienated parent may call the child on his or her birthday, and the alienating parent will hang up the phone, and then tell the child later on that the other parent did not call. Eventually, after a long period of this type of emotional manipulation, the child will grow to hate the other parent, and no longer wish to see or speak to him or her.

Because parental alienation can lead to ongoing behavioral and emotional issues in a child (issues that can extend into the child’s adulthood), it is imperative that it is dealt with right away. Legal intervention is the best way to nip such behavior in the bud. If you are dealing with parental alienation, contact the Joliet attorneys at Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino & Pollack, P.C. right away.

Understanding Parental Alienation and The Lasting Effect It Can Have On Your Child

Though parental alienation is not formally recognized as a mental disorder, it has been proven to have a lasting negative impact on a child’s well being. With enough time, parental alienation can succeed in pushing a parent out of a child’s life, essentially leaving the child “without” a mom or a dad. Not only do studies suggest that dual parenting is better than single parenting (Science Daily), but also, a child-victim of parental alienation has to forever live with the belief that the alienated parent “did not want them.” Such feelings of rejection at such a young age can lead to relationship issues and ongoing behavioral disorders.

Signs of Parental Alienation

Though you may not know exactly what is going on at the other parent’s home or what is being said, you can spot alienation by the following behaviors:

  • Badmouthing with foul language and off-the-wall descriptions of you, your life, and if applicable, your new spouse;
  • Weak arguments about why they have so much anger towards you;
  • Continually telling you that they hate you or that you failed them in some way;
  • Lack of empathy for their bad behavior towards you;
  • Lack of interest in spending time with you or your side of the family; and
  • Refusal to see or speak to you entirely.

If you notice any of these symptoms, your worst fears may have been realized, as you may be the target of parental alienation.

How Does Alienation Occur?

A manipulative parent can use a number of techniques to manipulate a child’s feelings about the other parent. However, some techniques that your former spouse might use include:

  • Encouraging the child to pretend that you do not exist. This includes allowing the child to refuse to see or speak to you, or allowing them to call you something other than “mom” or “dad” when speaking about you;
  • Attacking your character, lifestyle, friends, family members, or job;
  • Asking your child to spy on you and to relay messages to them about the goings-on in your home;
  • Always pointing out your flaws to your child;
  • Instilling fear in your child towards you;
  • Lying about you to your child; and
  • Telling your child that you never cared for or loved them.

Reach Out to a Joliet Child Custody Lawyer

If you fear that you are the target of parental alienation, it is imperative that you seek legal intervention right away. The courts frown immensely upon parents whom bad-talk the other in front of the child, but because parental alienation is much worse than back talk, they may suspend the other parent’s parenting time altogether, or order supervised visitation. Though parental alienation syndrome is not an officially recognized disorder, the courts recognize the harm it causes, and are swift to take action to end it. To end the emotional manipulation of your child, contact the law firm of Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino & Pollack, P.C. at 815-730-8860 today.