Legal professionals of Reuter Law Group, PC
Parental alienation and its damaging effects

Parental alienation and its damaging effects

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2023 | Child Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Parental Alienation |

In many divorce cases, children become the primary reason for disputes between the parents. Whether it is because one parent wants to spend more time with their children or about child support, children can suffer collateral damage from the divorce.

Parental alienation

In some instances, some parents go above and beyond to harm the other parent by trying to make their child choose sides and ultimately abandon the other parent altogether, engaging in parental alienation. 

Parental alienation is a damaging phenomenon that harms children at their very core, likely for life. It involves one parent manipulating the child to create distance and hostility toward the other parent.

Why would a parent do this?

It is complicated to explain what goes through the mind of a parent who chooses to break the bond between their child and the other parent. However, it usually stems from feelings of anger and resentment on part of the parent who is causing the alienation toward the other parent.

Effects on children

The biggest problem with parental alienation is its effect on children. After all, they are the most important and primary victims of this profoundly psychologically damaging game that forces them to choose one parent over the other, leaving scars that will impact their lives forever.

Depending on the child’s age, it may be difficult for the alienated child to remember the happy moments they shared with the alienated parent, so it may be easier for some children to believe the parent who is trying to alienate them from the other parent and to take their side.

Effects on the alienated parent

The effects that parental alienation has on the alienated parent are devastating. Most parents adore their children with their lives and would do and give anything for them and their well-being. Parental alienation removes the most essential part of a parent’s life and erases a part of their identity.

After all, being a parent is an identity on its own. When children are taken away and turned against a parent, that parent may feel like a childless parent with no recourse, especially if the children are old enough and have been subjected to parental alienation long enough that great damage has been done. The children themselves may be hostile and sometimes completely disregard the alienated parent, treating them as if they were never their parent.

Divorce and child custody are always complicated, but children do not need to suffer more than they already will because of the divorce. Studies have been clear that children benefit from having their parents in their lives, and that alienating a parent is sinister and can cause child damage that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.