High conflict parents are not just something you see in movies. Parental alienation is a real and causes a genuinely damaging result to children involved in some of these kinds of cases. When parents cannot move on past their previous relationship and fail to put the needs of their children first, alienation can occur.
While once considered a deprivation of one’s parental rights, parental alienation is now viewed as children’s psychological issue.
Psychologists have identified numerous ways the effects of parental alienation can be seen in a child’s behavior. Sadly, these effects can be both short term and long term in nature and include:
Effects of Parental Alienation:
- low self-esteem;
- depression and anxiety;
- poor performance at school;
- problems with concentration or attention;
- difficulty with emotional regulation and lashing out;
- drug and alcohol use;
- sexual promiscuity;
- resentment of authority;
- intimacy issues and marital issues.
The Realities of Parental Alienation Texas
Alienating parents engage in chronic behaviors to systematically reprogram their child against the targeted parent. This kind of psychological warfare can be seen in any number of ways. The alienating parents rarely understand or believe that they are causing harm to their child by their behavior. However, the reality is that there are severe and lasting negative effects.
Some of the most common ways alienation manifests are through badmouthing the other parent to the child or limiting the child’s contact with that parent. Alienation also manifest through minimizing the importance of contact with the other parent, such as allowing a young child to select an activity over time with the targeted parent. Other forms include threats of withdrawal of love or alternatively telling the child the other parent does not love them, forcing the child to reject the other parent or even creating the impression that the other parent is dangerous.
Many alienating behaviors are shared in conjunction. An example might include a parent creating the impression that the other parent is dangerous and encouraging the child to spy on the other parent and report back. As a child believes the illusion of danger, the child may begin to “snoop” and report back everything they can to the other parent in pursuit of approval from that parent. The cumulative effect is an “us vs. them” mentality causing the other parent to become “them” rather than one of “us.” It is vital for children to feel they have a team supported by both parents, even after divorce or a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship. The romantic relationship may be over, but parenting is not.
Addressing Parental Alienation Texas
Many parents co-parent after legal proceedings and continue to provide the team of support for their children. However, when a parent breaks up that team, it is the child who suffers.
It is important to stay involved and aggressively address these alienation behaviors as early as possible. The reality of alienation, like many destructive behaviors, is that it is easy to start and hard to reverse. The court will need to consider numerous factors, including the age of the child, the level of alienation and its effect on the child’s mental health, the potential need for a mental health professional to be involved, potential for reunification therapy and many other factors.
No matter the age or size of the child, it is the obligation of the parent, in possession of the child, to engage reasonable strategic parenting strategies. This is to ensure the child complies with the court’s order and goes with the other parent during their periods of possession. Saying that it is physically impossible to drag an eleven-year-old into the other parent’s car, probably does not seem reasonable to most people, but what about a sixteen-year-old boy? Well, that parent should find other ways to elicit the appropriate response from the child.
This might include revoking cell phone or game console privileges, car keys, or attending a school function to get the proper response. Do not believe that asking your child to comply is going to be enough to convince a court you are doing your part to comply with the order. Also, do not think that your only remedy is giving up. The road ahead of you is going to be difficult if you have experienced parental alienation texas, but there are some professionals who can help.
Remember that the greatest victim of this kind of behavior is your child.