Parental Alienation Tactics

Tactics used to damage the loving connection between the child and targeted parent.

AP: Alienating Parent
TP: Targeted Parent (alienated parent, rejected parent.)


  • Denigrating the TP
  • Limiting contact
  • Interrogating the child after each visit or contact for information about the TP
  • Making decisions about the child without consulting the TP
  • Demanding that the child chooses a side in the custody dispute
  • Encouraging the child to have an unhealthy dependence on them
  • Unreasonably interfering with time the child spends with the targeted parent
  • Interfering with phone & Skype communication
  • Interfering with symbolic communication (photos etc)
  • Withdrawal of love
  • Whiteanting the TP plans with the child and arranging something better
  • Telling the child that the TP is dangerous
  • Telling the child that the TP does not love him or her
  • AP emotionally confiding in the child about their adult feelings towards TP.
  • Forcing the child to reject the TP
  • Asking the child to spy on the TP
  • Asking the child to keep secrets from the TP
  • Referring to the TP by first name
  • Referring to a step­ parent as  "Mum" or "Dad" and encouraging child to do the same
  • Withholding medical, academic, and other important information from  TP/keeping TP's name off medical, academic, and other relevant documents
  • Changing child's name to remove association with TP
  • Cultivating dependency/undermining the authority of the TP
  • Utilise schools and support services to facilitate their campaign of denigration and false allegations of abuse
  • AP move far away from TP with the children
  • AP say they are encouraging the child to visit TP when they are deeply  confiding in the child about their feelings about the TP.
  • Encouraging the child to be defiant towards the targeted parent
  • AP emotionally clinging to the child at handovers
  • AP SMSing the child to ask if they are safe whilst at the TP's home
  • AP tells child that the TP only wants them for money
  • AP tells child when TP buys them a gift that they are only trying to buy their love.
  • But not limited to...

EMMM Foundation have added additional alienating tactics to the "17 Parental Alienation Strategies" list that is published in “Working With Alienated Children and Families” book.


Reference: Book, “Working With Alienated Children and Families”

By Amy JL Baker & S Richard Sauber