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Supporting you through Parental Alienation

Parental alienation refers to a situation in which a child strongly aligns themselves with one parent (the favoured or preferred parent) and rejects or shows strong hostility toward the other parent (the targeted or rejected parent) without justified reasons.

 

This can result from a range of behaviours, actions, or comments by one parent that intentionally or unintentionally manipulates the child's perception, causing them to distance themselves from the other parent.

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Understanding Alienation

Parental alienation can have serious emotional and psychological effects on the child, the targeted parent, and even the parent engaging in the alienating behaviours.  It can create long-lasting rifts in the parent-child relationship, impact the child's emotional well-being, and make co-parenting challenging. Courts in some jurisdictions recognize parental alienation and may intervene to protect the child's best interests and restore a healthy relationship between the child and both parents.

Examples of parental alienation behaviours include:

  • Making derogatory remarks or false accusations about the other parent in front of the child.

  • Limiting contact or communication between the child and the other parent.

  • Providing misleading information to the child about the other parent's intentions or behaviours.

  • Encouraging the child to choose sides or behave in a manner that disrespects or undermines the targeted parent.

  • Withholding medical, academic, and other important information.

  • Referring to the targeted parent by first name instead of "mum" or "dad".

  • Confiding in the child.

  • Telling the child that the targeted parent is dangerous.

  • Limiting contact

What can you do when you feel you are experiencing Parental Alienation 

Remember, navigating parental alienation can be complex, and every situation is unique.  It's crucial to prioritize the child's well-being and seek professional help or legal guidance when needed.  Experiencing parental alienation can be emotionally distressing and challenging, but there are steps you can take to address the situation:

DOCUMENT EVERYTHING

Keep records of interactions, conversations, and incidents related to parental alienation. Document any denials of visitation or communication, as well as any negative comments or behaviours directed at you in front of the child.

CONSIDER THERAPY

If possible and appropriate, consider seeking therapy for your child. A neutral third party can help the child process emotions and understand the situation more objectively.

SEEK LEGAL ADVICE

If the situation persists and impacts your visitation or parental rights, consult a family law attorney. They can advise you on legal options available to address parental alienation, such as seeking court orders for visitation enforcement or custody modifications.

SEEK SUPPORT

Connect with a therapist, counsellor, or support group specializing in parental alienation. Talking to someone who understands the dynamics can provide emotional support and guidance on coping strategies.

IMPACT ON RELATIONSHIPS

Trust Issues

Separation might lead to trust issues, affecting future relationships.

FOLLOW COURT ORDERS

Ensure that you adhere to any court-ordered visitation or custody arrangements. Document any violations or hindrances to your court-ordered rights.

MAINTAIN COMMUNICATION

Continue to reach out and maintain a positive, consistent presence in your child's life. Even if the child is resistant at first, consistently demonstrating your love and willingness to be there can make a difference in the long term.

FOCUS ON THE CHILD'S WELL BEING

Prioritize the child's needs and well-being over any conflict with the other parent. Avoid badmouthing the other parent or involving the child in any conflict or negative discussions.

LEAN ON FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Parental Alienation can feel isolating, be sure to lean on trusted friends and family during this time for additional support.  

How to support your children through Parental Alienation 

Supporting children through parental alienation can be emotionally challenging, but there are ways to help them navigate this difficult situation:

MAINTAIN A POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP

Continue to show love, support, and consistency in your relationship with your child. Be present and available, even if the child seems resistant or distant.

PROVIDE STABILITY

Create a stable and predictable routine for your child. Consistency in daily activities, rules, and expectations can provide a sense of security during a challenging time.

RESPECT COURT ORDERS

If there are court-ordered visitation or custody arrangements, ensure you follow them consistently. This demonstrates to the child that you respect legal boundaries and prioritize their well-being.

AVOID NEGATIVE TALK

Refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent in front of the child. Focus on providing a positive environment and avoid involving the child in any conflicts or discussions about the alienating behaviours.

SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP

Consider family therapy or counselling for both you and your child. A therapist experienced in parental alienation can provide guidance and support for coping with emotions and navigating the situation.

STAY PATIENT

Dealing with parental alienation is a long process. It might take time for the situation to improve, so be patient and persistent in your efforts to maintain a healthy relationship with your child.

VALIDATE THEIR FEELINGS

Encourage open communication and validate your child's feelings without criticizing or belittling them. Let them know it's okay to feel confused or upset about the situation.

EDUCATE WITHOUT BLAME

Help your child understand parental alienation without placing blame. Explain that sometimes adults behave in hurtful ways but reassure them that it's not their fault and that both parents still love them.

Remember, each child and situation is unique, so the level of support needed may vary.  Tailor your approach based on your child's age, personality, and emotional needs while seeking professional guidance when necessary.

Supportive Friend

How to work with us

Our program offers comprehensive support to parents facing the challenges of separation.  We provide essential resources, expert guidance, and practical tools, empowering you to navigate this complex period while minimizing the impact on your mental health. 

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United Kingdom

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