Mature man holding son and looking at woman in foreground

What is Parental Alienation?

Divorce, Family/Kids, Relationships

Mature man holding son and looking at woman in foreground Custody battles are ugly, leaving children inevitably damaged as a result.  When parents throw the child’s needs out the window, kids are often programmed, brainwashed, or otherwise manipulated to reject the other parent. Scholarly consensus now points to parental alienation as being a largely overlooked form of child abuse.

Proving Parental Alienation

Hundreds of thousands of kids across the country are affected by parental alienation. The symptoms affect kids so distinctly that psychiatry experts want the phenomenon recognized by the DSM-5 as a mental disorder. At best, many agree that parental alienation is a serious relationship disorder. Psychological evaluations of your children can be an effective legal strategy for your children’s well-being and for proving alienation in court.

Signs of parental alienation could include the following behavior by your ex:

-Refusing to let your child talk to you on the phone.

-Not allowing you to visit the child.

-Throwing out mail or gifts you send to the child.

-Misinforming you about special events in your child’s life, such as sporting events, performances, or parent-teacher conferences, letting you look like you chose not to attend.

Can You Fight It?

You can take your ex to court if they are being unreasonable with allowing you to have a relationship with your children.  A therapist or other mediator can help — not only to calm down tense situations, but to be a witness to harmful behavior. In the courtroom, documenting of unmet appointments and children being available to talk on the phone can be helpful in righting wrongs.

Above all things, don’t retaliate in this situation.  Even if your spouse is being evil, hope that your more reasonable behavior will influence them to be a better parent.  Be kind to your children, even if they have been manipulated against you; in time, your kindness will speak for itself in court and at home.