During or after an acrimonious divorce, Parental Alienation can manifest itself in a wide variety of behaviors, some subtle and others overt, which is why it can be challenging to determine whether a child’s actions are a normal reaction to their parents’ divorce or a sign of parental alienation, a serious issue.
One of the areas for concern is Parental Substitution. It may not be uncommon to expose a child to a parent’s new significant other; however, the way that it is handled can determine whether the behavior is symptomatic of Parental Alienation. In Parental Substitution, the parent gives the child the impression that this significant other is really the parental figure. If played out over a long enough period of time, the child will accept this as reality and act accordingly by further distancing themselves from their alienated parent.