Understanding Parental Alienation
It is essential to understand that children’s attachment to their parents is crucial for their healthy mental development. A child’s attachment process starts as young as their birth. Any time their parent neglects or undermines their children can result in them suffering lifelong psychological problems.
Sadly, there are times when this does happen to a child. What is seen in many divorce cases is that one of the parents will seek to harm the other. The parents will attempt to destroy their relationship with their child. This is what we know as Parental Alienation.
What is Parental Alienation?
A dictionary defines “parental alienation” as a parent isolating their child from the other parent through words or actions. Apart from harming the victimized parents, this alienation can cause lifelong psychological damage to their children, known as child abuse.
Forms of Disparagement
Disparagement is what we know as making critical or negative comments one parent would make about the other. One parent was to tell the child that the other parent is to blame for any minor problem or major problem. One could even say that hearing a parent say, “Your father is the problem,” is an example of this. In some cases, parents will go to the children and say the other doesn’t love them anymore.
Parental alienation can also occur when one parent undermines the authority of the other one. In the best-case scenario, parents will share equal decisions about their children’s decisions.
One parent could potentially undermine the authority of the other. This occurs when one parent contradicts or ridicules one of the other’s choices. An example is one parent would make a rule that a child needs to follow. However, the other parent bends it to make the child like them more. This will occur when one parent has the child playoff against the other.
What we know parentification is the act of allowing the child to make choices when they are not old enough to do so. One case that we can think of is letting the younger child choose certain things in their life such as when their bedtime is, how long they get to watch television, or even what they’re going to have for dinner.
Doing this and giving a child more freedom than the other parent can signal the child that that parent does not love them as much.
Parental Substitution is defined as a parent letting a child know that someone else other than their parent or guardian has more authority over them. An example of this could be when parents do go through a divorce and get re-married. One parent can then lead the child to believe that their new spouse has the same power as the other parent.
Any of these certain cases that your child may be experiencing can be crucial in their mental upbringing. If a parent were to twist anything about their other parent and vise versa, children could become neglectful, which is where this diagnosis comes from. If you are going through a divorce or know of someone experiencing these issues within their household, give us a call. Our patient and knowledgeable team are here to answer all questions that you may have. At Elovitz Law, we want you to know that you are always covered and attended to.