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Parental alienation is a social dynamic, generally occurring due to divorce or separation, when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. These feelings may be influenced by negative comments by the other parent and by the characteristics, such as lack of empathy and warmth, of the rejected parent. The term does not apply in cases of actual child abuse, when the child rejects the abusing parent to protect themselves. Parental alienation is controversial in legal and mental health professions, both generally and in specific situations.Terms related to parental alienation include child alienation, pathological alignments, visitation refusal, pathological alienation and the toxic parent - Source Wikipedia

We believe that inducing PA in a child is a form of child abuse, which should be punishable under the Family Court Act. Moreover, a parent who alienates a child against the other parent should be denied visitation with all of his or her children until the child is no longer alienated.

PA has been recognized since the 1980s, when it was held that a custodial parent's interference with the relationship between a child and a non-custodial parent is "an act so inconsistent with the best interests of the child as to intrinsically raise a strong probability that the offending party is unfit to act as a parent."


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.