Parental Alienation is a serious issue that can occur during divorce, especially if it is contentious. Parents from Jupiter to Wellington and throughout Palm Beach County should know the warning signs that parental alienation is occurring and the impact of parental alienation on children.
Parental Alienation may be a growing trend in our country. Defined as “when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible,” (source) parental alienation occurs most often in divorce with high-conflict child custody battles. The child, sometimes by the indoctrination of the custodial parent, expresses intense dislike of the non-custodial parent. Occasionally, accusations of abuse come with the breach of affection, further complicating separation or divorce.
With media and advocacy groups educating people about Parental Alienation, the word is getting out. Families and individuals from Jensen Beach to Boynton Beach are beginning to understand its complexities and consequences for children. Little is said, however, about the alienated or targeted parent. Let’s look at some of the problems that a targeted parent might endure.
Whether you live in Jupiter or Wellington, as a parent you have a special relationship with your children. Alienation during divorce can damage this important relationship. Parental Alienation is an action or actions by one divorcing parent that forces an alienation of the other parent from their child (or children). It is perpetrated, consciously or not, by a parent who desires to punish the other parent for the situation. Most commonly, it is the mother who is the perpetrator but increasingly, fathers are alienating as well.
The American Psychiatric Association is considering the recognition of Parental Alienation Syndrome as a disease in the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Though the draft version of the DSM does not yet contain a definition for Parental Alienation Syndrome, the APA has specified that a group of mental health professionals has proposed a document discussing how to incorporate the term in the DSM-5.
Parental Alienation is a detrimental behavior pattern that when perpetrated by one parent drives a child away from the other parent. According to J. Michael Bone and Michael R. Walsh there are four major indicators for recognizing parental alienation. They include blocking access, false abuse allegations, relationship deterioration, and child's fear reaction. This article will focus on the final attribute, child's intense fear reaction. Click the links above to read about the other conditions.
Divorce is stressful but when a parent alienates a child from the former spouse, the stress is amplified and causes harm to everyone. One parent, using sophisticated manipulation, can bring a child to a place of hatred towards the alienated parent. Adopting the feelings of the alienating parent makes their world seem more manageable and in control.