Minimizing the damage of parental alienation

| Feb 15, 2021 | Divorce |

When children of divorced parents show unexplained signs of resentment toward one parent, it could be an indication of parental alienation. This usually happens through manipulation, deception and isolation.

While parents cannot control what their children hear about them from their former spouse, they can focus their effort on minimizing the damage of parental alienation.

Maintain structure

Children thrive when they have a structured routine. Consistent patterns enable children to feel loved, comforted and safe. According to Psych Central, even when impacted by parental alienation, parents should maintain as much structure as possible for their children. When children return from the other parent’s home exhibiting questionable, defensive or resentful behavior, parents should extend patience.

Parents should listen to their children and show empathy. Even though they may want to know more about their children’s experiences in the other parent’s home, they should not press their child for information. Parents should never talk badly about their ex. If children do isolate themselves from one of their parents for a period of time, parents should maintain integrity and respond with unconditional love.

Honor parenting orders

Sometimes parental alienation interferes with court-monitored parenting orders. According to Psychology Today, the impact of parental alienation lessens when parents honor custody agreements. When they breach an agreement, appropriate and timely legal repercussions may prevent conditions from worsening.

Parents will need to have flexibility in regards to their custody agreement. However, repetitive disregard for prior negotiations can indicate parental alienation. People would benefit from documenting their interactions with their ex and recording any incidents of a custody breach. Having evidence can provide instrumental support in establishing the need for legal intervention to minimize the impact of parental alienation.