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How to Spot Signs of Parental Alienation in Your Family?

Divorce is hard for both of the former partners. It is even harder if there are kids involved. Child support, custody everything is difficult. But think about the kids whose parents are going through a divorce. There are many new and unwanted things the kids need to tolerate and adapt.

On the other hand, if the divorce is messy and any of the former partners still holds grudges, sometimes parents tend to force their children to pick a favourite. Sometimes it puts a bad impact on children of broken families.

So how to spot signs of parental alienation in your family is the main focus of today’s discussion. We will also analyze its impact and ways to avoid them

How to spot signs of parental alienation in your family?

What is parental alienation?

Parental alienation is a situation where one parent forces, brainwashes, alienates the child against the other parent for satisfying the personal grudges against each other.

It puts a really bad impact on the mental growth of the children. That is why, in some cases, children from broken families more likely to develop a messy life.

According to experts, some children can take that pressure and avoid it, but some cannot. As a result, they become alienated from their parents, family, friends. So, beware of your actions.

Signs of parental alienation

1. Talking about the detailed reason for your divorce to your child

An active alienator could be male or female. They may claim very calm and had no problem with you having a relationship with the kid. Sometimes they may vomit out details about your unhappy marriage and its broken history.

As your former partner, their side of the story could be pretty negative towards you. So, if the kids hear only their part of the story, the children could hold a bad image of you. It can influence to show anger with you.

2. False allegations against you

Sometimes, to take your child on their side, they may throw false allegations of domestic violence against you. If it happens, your child will surely hate you. If your child makes such a reference to you, you may be the victim of allegations of domestic abuse that you didn’t even commit.

3. Talk bad behind your back

For example, you were supposed to attend a meeting with your child and your former partner for dinner or a birthday party or Christmas party. You are late for some urgent issues or even couldn’t make it that night.

Your partner may say something like that, he/she has no time or priority for you, or you have another family which is more important to you. This would affect your relationship with the child.

4. Negative expressions towards you

Sometimes, your former partner harms your relationship with your child with just a negative body language or expression. If they show you that they do not like in front of the kids, they may feel to pick a specific side. That can be against you.

5. Your children are angry with you

If you see your children are angry with you most of the time and you cannot find the reason for it, that could the bad impact of parental alienation.

All the negative talks, bad-mouthing against you could impact them very badly. Not just you, they may act out in school or with friends badly. It is a sign you should not ignore.

6. Your children feel guilty while spending time with you

When you see they are uncomfortable with you; If you spend time with them, they feel like they are leaving their other parent out of the fun. It is a sign of bad parenting from their part.

7. Forcing them to take a side

When you are in mutual custody, no one should force the kids to take sides. They may not want them to spend time with you. It could be the frustration about the broken relationship, but the kids picture them as their fault. Sometimes they feel like to take a side and leave the other parent.

8. Spying on your personal life

After a visit from your place, do not pry against your partner’s personal life such as who are you living with, what do you do most of the time, etc. Do not ask about the time they spend together unless it feels like it is hurting your kids.

Impact of parental alienation on children

  • Extreme negative attitude towards you. Hates you and refuses to spend time with you. Do not want to work on the relationship with you
  • Acting out in schools
  • Alienating themselves from both of you and society
  • Liking one parent the most and others the worst
  • Lack of remorse and empathy as a person
  • Becoming hurtful mentally and physically towards parents and other people
  • Feeling alone and nobody loves them etc

There is a syndrome called Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) coined by Richard Gardner in 1985. However, it is not certified by any of the manuals of mental health organizations.

By the way, the damage can be done by the parents, their relatives, friends, etc. so, spend quality time with your child to help them grow as normal as possible.

Action against parental alienation

There is no such law against it so that you can warn or put the alienator under legal actions. All you can do is spend quality time with your child. Hear them out. Even in their expressions and body language can tell you about what is going on on their mind.

Talk to the other parent. Make them understand that vomiting out frustration about a broken relationship is hurting the children who are both of yours. For their mental health growth and the sake of the kids’ better, healthy, and happy future, work together as parents.

As for the kids, you both should talk to them patiently. If the damage is too much, take appointments from a therapist. Sometimes what you cannot understand, they may help you with it. They have experience and degree, and your child may feel safe talking to a helpful stranger.

Sometimes people do not take it seriously enough to talk to a therapist. But a good parent will want to uproot any possibilities for future harm when it is still not big enough.


Remember, the problems, and grudges are between you. That does not mean the children need to pick a side of their favourite parent. You are no longer partners, but the kids have every right to have the shelter and affection of both of their parents.

If anyone could not fulfill the expectations of their better halves that does not mean he/she will e bad parents to their children. Think twice before you talk about your former partners to your children because it all puts a lot of impact on them emotionally.

If anything like that you notices, just talk to the other parent, if needed, take help from the therapist. Work together to give a healthy childhood to your children.