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Parental alienation is a profoundly damaging phenomenon where one parent manipulates a child's perception of the other, causing severe emotional and psychological harm. This includes denigration through negative comments and unflattering names, vilification with baseless accusations, interference with time spent together, eradication efforts blocking communication, information gatekeeping and inappropriate disclosure. It involves pressuring the child to provide negative information about the targeted parent, damaging the loving connection, encouraging child defiance, forcing loyalty, promoting an unhealthy alliance and emotional manipulation through threats of love withdrawal. These behaviours can result in lasting emotional scars for the child and strained relationships with the targeted parent. Here is an extensive list of examples (but not limited to):
From the book "Understanding and Managing Parental Alienation: A Guide to Assessment and Intervention," with permission from authors.
Denigration associated with the targeted parent
Vilification of the targeted parent
Interference with time spent with the targeted parent
Eradication of the targeted parent from the child’s life
Interrogation of the alienated child
Damage to the loving connection with the targeted parent
Inappropriate disclosure about the targeted parent
Encouraging child defiance
Forcing loyalty to the alienating parent
Encouraging an unhealthy alliance
Utilising outside forces
Haines, J., Matthewson, M., & Turnbull, M. (2020). Understanding and Managing Parental Alienation: A Guide to Assessment and Intervention. Routledge. pp 335-339
Please consider the impact parental alienating behaviours may have on those you love, perhaps not today but into the future. Potentially, this might be you or your child, a member of your family or their child, a friend and their child, your close community, or a member of the broader community who have children.
Parental Alienating Behaviours
are Child Abuse & Family Violence.
This serious form of abuse and family violence can no longer be ignored. Parental alienating behaviours must be acknowledged in Australia as it is in other parts of the world. We need legislation that not only acknowledges its existence but firmly and clearly legislates against it.