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What to do when you’re dealing with parental alienation

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2021 | Child Custody

Parental alienation happens in Washington and elsewhere. It occurs when a child exhibits a reluctance to be with a parent or have contact with him or her. The child’s behavior typically stems from the parent alienating him or her whether it’s done consciously. This form of alienation is widely viewed as a type of child abuse.

What are the signs of parental alienation?

The signs of parental alienation vary with every child based on the child’s personality. A child may completely ignore the parent and have nothing to do with him or her. Other children may react with open hostility toward the parent and scream at him or her. The one thing that all instances of parental alienation have in common is that there is a serious rift between the parent and child. If there is an issue of child custody in the family, it can make the relationship even more strained.

A child who faces parental alienation often blames the parent completely for the problems within the family. He or she is often very close with the other parent and may even parrot things that person says about the alienated parent.

Why does parental alienation happen?

Unfortunately, parental alienation is very common when there’s a rift between the child’s parents. If the parents have a lot of anger and contention between them, the child naturally picks up on it and ends up filled with resentment and fury. Often, there is a situation of abuse between the parents. Even if that abuse may never turn physical, terrible verbal or emotional abuse can occur. This stays with the child and can significantly impact child custody matters.

What can you do about parental alienation?

Sometimes, you may not initially realize there is parental alienation present in your family. You may be so consumed by the end of your relationship with your ex that you simply may not know the situation is seriously hurting your child as well. If you believe there’s parental alienation, you should immediately address it. A therapist can help you to correct your behavior. You may want to consider a co-parenting service as well. The focus should be on your child and improving your relationship with him or her. Support groups and family therapy can definitely benefit you and your child.

An attorney could help you if you’re having issues with child custody matters. Contact a lawyer to settle issues so that the situation can be fair for everyone involved.