After a divorce, one or both parents may cause one or more of their children to feel alienated from the other parent. This is called parental alienation syndrome. Parental alienation is the term used to describe the overall problem of children being encouraged by one parent — the favored parent — to unjustly reject the other parent – the targeted parent The specific behaviors that they engage in are referred to as parental alienation strategies. Parental alienation often but not always occurs in divorced families.
Symptoms of parent Alienation:
WEAK, FRIVOLOUS, and ABSURD RATIONALIZATIONS for the DEPRECATION
This symptom no better reflects the distortion of family events or “the enshrining of revisionist history” by the alienating parent and the alienated child about the targeted/rejected parent in order to portray that parent in the worst possible light.
LACK OF AMBIVALENCE
Alienated children can be predicted to recite a long list of deficits about their targeted parent while minimizing or refuting any positive attribute or redeeming quality of that parent.
THE INDEPENDENT-THINKER PHENOMENON
Alienated children proclaim uninfluenced ownership of their “horrific” opinions of and feelings for their targeted/alienated parent. Moreover, they accept sole responsibility for their abusive, disrespectful and rejecting behaviors towards that parent, adamantly affirming that their alienating parent does not encourage them in the slightest.
CRUELTY towards the ALIENATED PARENT with no Remorse or Guilt
Alienated children typically exhibit toward their targeted parent a cruelty so wounding that the serpent’s bite pales in comparison. Pouring salt in their parent’s wounds, these children reveal no remorse or guilt for having caused such pain.
REFLEXIVE SUPPORT of the ALIENATING PARENT
The symptom called “reflexive support the alienating parent” is descriptive of the process by which alienated children uncritically and dogmatically align with their alienating parent, particularly when disagreements and hostilities arise between the parents.
PRESENCE of BORROWED SCENARIOS
When interviewing alienated children, one is inescapably impressed with how scripted they sound and how effectively they employ language, concepts, and terminology commensurate with a cognitive stage well beyond what is typical for their actual age.
SPREAD of ANIMOSITY to EXTENDED FAMILY of the ALIENATED PARENT
That is, the vilification and rejection of the targeted parent usually will extend to her/his entire family of origin.
Psychological Impact on Child
The consequences on children who have been alienated from their parents can be harsh. They are deprived of a parental relationship that would otherwise may have been positive and loving. As a result of the alienation, a child may refuse to visit with the other parent and the visits may be unpleasant. The child may be unjustifiably afraid or hostile toward the other parent, or refuse to see them. Furthermore, the hostility may spread to other family members. The alienation may extend to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings.
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