What can I do to stop parental alienation? – James from Austin, TX
The simple answer is tragic when one parent manipulates a child to cause harm to the other parent and that parent’s relationship with the child. At its worst, parental alienation is the destruction of the parent-child relationship through psychological abuse of the child. Divorce is hard and often messy. When divorce happens, aggravated or hurt parents could cause manipulation or harm to the child for attention purposes. There are other factors in why this sometimes happens in divorce. However, children have an absolute right to a relationship with both parents. Of course, as long as that relationship does not put a child’s safety at risk.
Parental alienation occurs when one parent systematically breaks down the relationship between the child and their other parent with the intent of damaging or ending that relationship. It is a form of domestic violence that targets not only the other parent, but the child. A child, as the result of the abuse, has an increased lifetime risk of mental and physical illness. If you suspect that your spouse or ex-spouse is abusing your children in this way, it is important to seek out a mental health professional with expertise in parental alienation.
If you are considering divorce and have questions about how to get started with the process, reach out – we’re here to help, every step of the way.