25 April 2016
Parental Alienation is when a child does not want to know one of their parents because of wicked, and wrong, ideas put into their head ‐ usually by their other parent. This is often seen in the context of divorce or parental separation.
The effects of Parental Alienation (PA) can last a life time; parent and child never becoming reconciled. This can result in depression and make forming other relationships hard.
The child: can feel hatred for acts that the alienated parent did not do; or feels under valued, believing that the alienated parent has abandoned them.
The parent: feels the loss of their child, never completely understanding why and forever hoping for a change.
Grandparents and wider family can also be alienated from their grandchildren; which can cause great distress.
Our experience of Parental Alienation
Many of those who we help at our meetings tell us that their 'ex' is telling the kids: that they should be careful when they are with them, they are not safe; how they have been abused when they were living together.
This inventing of events is often an attempt to recruit the child to their side. It is, itself, a form of abuse of both the child and the parent on the receiving end.
We advise against countering PA by regaling the child with detailed 'evidence' from their point of view, it will just confuse the child and make them feel caught in the middle. When questioned by the child it is, usually, far better to simply say that it is not true and get on interacting with the child ‐ demonstrating they they are not the monster portrayed.
The courts and CAFCASS generally try hard to ignore or pretend that Parental Alienation by mother (who is more often the alienating parent) does not happen.
Parental Alienation Direct
Parental Alienation Direct is a new venture by the family separation clinic, being launched on Parental Alienation Day 2016. We wish them well. Their web site is not yet up & running ‐ this page will be updated when it is.