Signs of Parental Alienation And How to Counteract Its Effects by L.F. Lowenstein
Parental alienation has numerous signs, chief of which begins with a question: "Why should children who were initially close to both parents suddenly seek to reject one of them?" This tends to occur following an acrimonious separation or divorce.
There is a tendency to rely too much on what a child says it wants rather than looking behind the obvious remarks. They are often 'programmed' by the alienating parent and this leads to false, frivolous exaggerated criticisms against the other parent. 28 signs of alienation which are not always simultaneously apparent are presented as well as 24 suggestions for remediation.
Signs of Parental Alienation and How to Counteract Its Effects
What follows will be in two parts. The first part will deal with the signs of parental alienation or what one should look out for when dealing with children, alienators, and the victims of alienation. The second part will concern itself with remedies in dealing with the alienation process.
It must be understood that what the child wants is important but one must be absolutely certain that what the child wants is truly being reflected by what the child says. It must be understood that children who state that they do not want to see a parent, unless there has been proven sexual, physical or emotional abuse, that child should still strongly be encouraged to have contact with the other parent.
Children may state they do not wish to see a parent and those who deal with children in the legal profession and as psychologists and psychiatrists often feel they must listen to the child and concede that what the child wants is right for that child. This is a very wrong way of looking at things.
Children often want things for themselves that are not good in the short term as well as the long term. While a major consideration when dealing with the alienation process is to do what is best for the child, we must be careful to understand that children will have reacted in a certain way after a period of alienation by one parent.
This then leads to information solely on the basis of what the child feels and thinks should happen. Children who have been alienated or programmed against a parent will often state things that are untrue, exaggerated or frivolous despite having had a good earlier relationship with that parent.
The approach of the therapist in dealing with alienation cases is very different from the psychologist or psychiatrist dealing with a variety of neuroses or psychoses. What is required is to understand that the alienating parent can be, but not necessarily, mentally ill, or evil, or both in the manner in which she deals with the child in order to seek vengeance on a parent who had been close at some point in time.
What such parents fail to realise is that they are harming the child both in the short and the long term by depriving that child of a good parent merely because they are angry and wish to get back in a vengeful way against their ex partner. The child is used as a tool in this process. The alienator is not concerned for the welfare of the child but is concerned with their own desire for vengeance against the alienated individual.