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How can you care for a child affected by parental alienation?

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2023 | Parental Alienation |

Parental alienation is when one parent influences his or her child to reject or harbor hostility toward the other parent. Typically, parental alienation involves psychological manipulation that can lead to the deterioration of the child’s relationship with the alienated parent.

As an alienated parent, you may find it more challenging to care for a child who rejects you. Fortunately, you can build a positive relationship and help your child heal.

Start by educating yourself

In the U.S., only about 60% of children live with married biological parents. Unfortunately, children of divorce have a higher likelihood of behavioral issues. When children experience parental alienation, they are victims of emotional abuse and may exhibit more of these issues. Educate yourself on the impact of parental alienation to try to understand what your child experienced.

Validate your child’s experience

As the alienated parent, you may want to defend yourself. You may want to invalidate what occurred in the other parents’ home because you feel unjustly prosecuted by your child. However, you should validate your child’s feelings and allow him or her to be open and honest about them. Validating how your child felt does not mean that you agree with what your former spouse said. Validating how children feel may help them open up more.

Establish a stable environment

Children thrive in stability. Try to create an environment that has routine and structure. For children who have a multitude of behavioral issues or who need more help, consider working with a child psychologist to help him or her develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Children are resilient, and while parental alienation can cause a strain on your relationship, you can rebuild it with transparency and open conversation.