Parental alienation occurs when one parent engages their child or children in behavior that is intended to turn them against the other parent.
Parents who engage in parental alienation often:
- Discuss inappropriate adult matters with the child;
- Place the child in situations where they must choose between parents;
- Withhold parenting time or contact;
- Make false allegations against the alienated parent; or
- Force the child to choose between parents.
Parental alienation is detrimental to your child’s well-being and is a lot more common than you may think. Many researchers and mental health experts state that parental alienation can inadvertently cause long-lasting emotional and psychological trauma for children of divorce.
Parental alienation has been linked to the following long-term consequences:
- Low self-esteem
- Drug/alcohol abuse
- Poor self-efficacy
- Difficulty trusting others
Perhaps even more concerning is that being a victim of parental alienation can be eerily similar to being in a cult. Like cult leaders, the alienating parent uses thought reform and emotional manipulation techniques on their targets. This impairs the critical thinking skills of your child in order to indoctrinate them into a misguided belief-system.
Children who are victims of parental alienation typically:
- Have nothing nice to say about the other parent
- Have weak, unsupported reasons for their anger toward the alienated parent
- Say they hate the other parent
- Show no remorse about hurting the alienated parent’s feelings
- Refuse to call the alienated parent “mom” or “dad”
- Shun the alienated parent’s friends and family
- Avoid contact (telephone, in-person, email, all kinds) with the alienated parent
Did you know parental alienation is widely considered to be a form of child abuse? If left unaddressed, it can irreparably destroy a parent-child bond.
Do not wait until the damage is irreversible – contact Taibo Coombe Law in Centennial, Colorado at 303-991-2197 or fill out a contact form today to schedule a consultation in our Arapahoe County office to discuss your parental alienation case.