Why Parental Alienation is Harmful and How to Avoid it

Parental alienation occurs when a child, during a high conflict divorce, aligns himself or herself on the side of one parent to the detriment of their relationship with/completely alienation of the other parent. There are concrete steps you can take to avoid this situation, as it is harmful for all parties involved.


According to Psychologist Edward Kruk “Parental alienation involves the “programming” of a child by one parent to denigrate the other “targeted” parent, in an effort to undermine and interfere with the child’s relationship with that parent, and is often a sign of a parent’s inability to separate from the couple conflict and focus on the needs of the child.”


If you are the alienating parent it may be hard to see the long term consequences of this behavior but it is likely that after the immediate impact of a high conflict divorce dissipates, you will want your child to have a positive relationship with their other parent for reasons as simple as making the transition from one house to another go smoothly. No one wants to force a kicking and screaming child into the arms of someone else. Under most circumstances parental alienation is not based on the faults of the other parent as they relate to the children but as they relate more directly to the failed marriage.


Experts suggest that details of divorce and conflict related there to be concealed from children at all costs. There is no benefit to being “overly honest” or using transparency as a justification to negatively impact your child’s relationship with their other parent. For anyone with a tendency to involve their children in their conflicts or to over share details of their divorce should consider seeking therapy as an alternative to working through the need for emotional validation and learning to seek it from appropriate sources rather than their children.

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

Divorce can be a time of confusion and complexity. In addition to any emotional or other stress, your divorce can impact both your and your ex’s will. Therefore, it is important to understand what that impact may be and what…

While software developers are among the professions with the lowest divorce rates, coming in at 20.3%, workers in the technology sector who divorce face specific challenges during the divorce process. From how to locate and divide assets to determining parenting…

For parents, divorce often raises many questions surrounding extracurricular activities. These questions usually include whether the children will get to participate in the extracurricular activities (sports, performing arts classes, music lessons, art classes, etc.) they did before the divorce, expanded…

Divorce is a time of transition, which can bring about changes in your professional life as much as it can in your personal life. Perhaps you are one of the ones, like many, who have decided that a fresh start…

Becoming a single parent, especially after being married and having a partner to share in the physical and emotional labor, can be a challenging transition. The role of single parent, even for those in a healthy co-parenting relationship with their…

If you are in love and looking to plan a life with your partner, congratulations. This is an exciting time for you both, and the goal is that the relationship will stand the test of time. However, a recent study…

Divorce is not only about protecting assets and deciding who will keep the marital home afterward. Divorce is about re-envisioning your life following the end of a marriage and about discovering who you are today. This may include learning about…

The expression “in sickness and in health” is common in wedding ceremonies of all faiths. So when most people recite these words, it is probably safe to assume that they envision themselves married at a time when the unthinkable may…

Instead of marrying, increasingly, more couples are choosing to cohabitate outside of marriage. Many couples decide this for a variety of reasons, including testing the waters about whether they are suitable to live together as a couple or don’t believe…

Divorce can be a relatively straightforward process if you and your spouse are on good terms and can agree on certain issues in your case. In such a situation, you can file for an uncontested divorce which is often a…