It is easy to mistake a child’s hateful behavior and remarks as part of their rebellious stage of growing up. However, this behavior can be parental alienation. If not immediately acted upon, it could lead to severe consequences that could be irreparable. Knowing the effects of parental alienation can compel parents to take immediate action to prevent it from escalating further.
The consequences on children
Parental alienation can cause serious and long-term harm to a child’s mental and emotional health. This can negatively affect a child’s behavior and judgment, among others. Some specific consequences of parental alienation are as follows:
- Causing problems in school and struggling with learning
- Difficulty creating new connections and maintaining relationships
- Low self-esteem and self-respect
- Impulsive behavior that can lead to delinquency
- Permanent damage to their relationship with a previously beloved parent
- Depression and substance abuse
These effects definitely raise concerns and should force parents to look into the cause of their children’s irrational and hateful behavior toward them.
An overview of what a parent can do
Flagging signs of parental alienation can help parents prevent their children from further being manipulated. Once a parent establishes that their child is being used or manipulated to alienate them, they can move forward and take the appropriate step.
For one, courts intervene and may order reunification wherein the child spends time with the alienated parent to rebuild the relationship. Studies show that increased time spent with the targeted parent can help repair the relationship.
Parents can also consider psychological treatment for their children.
Parental alienation is real
Parental alienation is hurtful for both the parent and the child. It can destroy a loving relationship if not treated immediately. The first step to addressing parental alienation is to accept that it exists and understanding it further will aid in reestablishing the parent-child relationship.