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When does parental alienation become child abuse?

When does parental alienation become child abuse?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2022 | Child Custody and Visitation |

Following a divorce, your children may naturally feel a wide array of negative emotions. However, when your child begins to reject you with no justifiable reason, parental alienation may be the cause. According to WebMD, parental alienation happens more often after a high-conflict divorce.

There are various levels of parental alienation. Mild alienation may include children who enjoy time with their other parent but act resistant in front of the other parent. Moderate to severe parental alienation is a form of child abuse.

What parental alienation looks like

A major red flag occurs when your children do not want to spend time with you. When they refuse to see you, they may have no reason for it. Kids sometimes become angry with their parents, but you will find little to no cause for their behavior. They may constantly criticize you but support their other parent without hesitation. Children under the influence of parental alienation do not feel guilt for their actions.

How parental alienation affects children

Children affected by parental alienation lose their sense of stability with both parents—Alienators program their children to hate the alienated parent. Kids may feel pressured or fear rejection if they do not behave a certain way towards the alienated parent. The alienation results in kids having to grieve one of their parents. They may experience loss similar to the death of a parent. Kids begin to identify with the alienating parent.

The only option may be to remove the children from the alienator’s home in severe cases. Keep in mind that forced reunification can cause further trauma that may require the help of a therapist.