Parental Alienation: A Resentful Reality

Parental alienation involves manipulation by alienating and sabotaging a child’s innocent mind to hate the other parent who cares for their child. The impact of this situation is lifelong in many cases.

This article will try to talk about Parental Alienation and its impact on kids and other family members.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental Alienation
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Parental alienation is the attribution given to how one parent tries to ruin the child’s relationship with the other parent, leading to the parent’s rejection by the child.

Parenting time should be reduced with the alienating parent as it is necessary to protect the child from the alienating parent’s influence. One can reduce the effect by removing the child from their custody.

This step greatly reduces the parenting time with that parent and is hard on the child, so one needs to check in parenting time. 

How Does One Get Successful in Doing Parental Alienation?

One parent often uses this syndrome to brainwash the mind of the child. The reason is to manipulate the child’s decision when choosing one parent, and the manipulative parent thus gets custody.

One of the psychiatrists, Dr. Craig Childress, said that parental alienation is a variant of domestic violence that involves control, domination, and expression of power. 

In this, the alienating parent uses the child as bait to take revenge on the alienated parent. In some cases, the alienating parent threatens to harm their child by giving them a divorce. These cases are an expression of their selfish behaviour and nothing else.  

Parental alienation not only takes place in cases of divorce but even in a family that lives together. Spending time with one parent plays a major role in parental alienation syndrome

Divorce and separation of parents are already hard on children. The alienating parent well grasps this situation, and they utilize this to make the child hate the alienated parent, and they start manipulating the child.

In unidentified parental alienation syndrome, it becomes difficult for the family court to decide who will get the child’s custody.  

Toxicity of Parental Alienation

Though the child and alienated parent have shared a perfect past relationship with joy and happiness, the manipulation card by the alienating parent does the task, and the child starts avoiding the alienated parent.

There are times when the child and the alienated parent have issues, but most of them have good relationships in some cases.  

The Severity of Parental Alienation

There are three types of severity of parental alienation, which are mild, moderate, and severe. Many psychiatrists have given this specification of parental alienation.

Parental Alienation
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1. Mild

Mild parental alienation is when the child resists communication and contact with the alienated parent but enjoys the relationship when they are present during parenting time.

In this case, the court may request to stop exposing their child to fights and arguments. The court may also order to stop undermining the relationship between the child and the alienated parent.

Sometimes it’s better to meet a parenting coordinator who helps the parents communicate with their children constructively and support each other’s relationship.

2. Moderate

Moderate parental alienation is when the child resists communication with the alienated parent and is persistently oppositional during parenting time.

In this, the parenting coordinator works with parents together, and there’s individual counselling arranged for the alienated parent, the alienating parent, and the child.

3. Severe

Parental Alienation
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Severe parental alienation is when the child adamantly refuses any communication with the alienated parent and runs away to avoid the presence of the alienated parent.

In the case of severe parental alienation, the alienating parent is obsessed with destroying the child’s relationship with the targeted parent.

How to get rid of Parental Alienation?

Identification of parental alienation at an early stage is important. If identified at the mild stage, the chance of getting the syndrome treated is higher than identification at the severe stage.

It is more likely to be identified by the therapists in private practice and at mental health centres, who work with the children of parents who are getting divorced in the coming times.


Parental alienation is frustrating for the one whom the children have despised. The parent has enjoyed a healthy relationship with the child in the past. Parental alienation is difficult to tackle for health and legal professionals in the courtroom or their clinics.

The legal practitioners must know about this situation which should help identify the child’s psychological abuse. They need to influence the government regarding the laws related to children of divorced parents. 

The problem of alienated children lies within the framework of highly conflicting divorce. The solution involves the child and both the parent leading to a comprehensive treatment plan. This treatment involves the courts, parenting coordinator, and therapists. 

Identification of parental alienation is difficult when a child is vocal about their dislike for their parent, which sometimes confuses the judge whether the hatred is real or it is a case of parental alienation.

A Book for Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation
By lil artsy/Pexels

There’s a book, “Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties that Bind.” Amy J.L. Baker has compiled this book based on research interviews involving individuals who find themselves victims of parental alienation. 

This book provides the experience of those individuals who one parent against the other parent. This book takes you on the journey and experience of parental alienation and the lifelong impact of this syndrome. 

Key Takeaways

When parents decide to separate their path, the joint decision should be to keep their child fond of both their love and a child has full right to have the love of both their parents.

Many times this is not the case and the difference in path keeps their child deprived of the love of one parent. The parents must take the help of psychiatrists, psychologists, judges, lawyers, and social workers to avoid causing any irreparable harm.

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Last Updated on by Priya Das


Shreyanshi Jha

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