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What are manifestations of parental alienation?

| Nov 30, 2020 | Child Custody |

Michigan parents like you have a rough road ahead after divorce. No matter how the divorce itself goes, adjusting to co-parenting in the aftermath is a journey in and of itself.

The hurdles only grow when you add anger, jealousy, fear and other negative emotions to the mix. This can result in one parent trying to push your child away from you, known as parental alienation.

How does your child treat you vs. your co-parent?

The Psychiatric Times discusses potential signs of parental alienation. There are different ways in which parental alienation may manifest. These are warning signs that your child is suffering from parental alienation.

First, there is a lack of ambivalence toward the alienating parent. This means your child struggles to find even one criticism about your co-parent. But they often treat you in an extremely negative way. It is common for children to deny past positive experiences, rejecting communication and contact.

How do they rationalize their dislike?

Another sign is weak or absurd rationalization. When a child truly dislikes or hates a parent, there is often a good reason for it like abuse. In cases of parental alienation, the reasons for such intense dislike often seem frivolous. They may claim to dislike your eating habits or food preparation, as an example.

These children often do not display regret or guilt, either. They believe they are “owed” everything you give, including financial support, gifts and favors. They may appear cold, spiteful, rude or ungrateful.

Many children who suffer from parental alienation also claim to do so of their own free will. They vehemently deny any influence or interference by the alienating parent. This is despite obvious signs that they are being lied to and manipulated.