Parental alienation is when a parent purposefully harms or destroys a child’s relationship with the other parent. Those who do it essentially weaponize their kids to punish or retaliate against the other party. They fail to realize or care that the ones truly suffering are their offspring.
Actions constituting parental alienation may result in long-term negative effects on victims.
1. Impaired ability to view the world
Children exposed to parental alienation may lose the capacity to see in shades of gray. Psychologically, they experience a “split” where they are only able to view people, situations and events in black or white. There is no middle ground or blurred lines for them.
2. Anger and hostility issues
This generally presents itself in two ways. The victims may develop an intolerance for hostility or anger, particularly if they are the target. Disapproval, dislike and other negative emotions may trigger panic n them. Alienated individuals may also possess anger themselves. They may harbor an unhealthy rage they perceive as rightful towards the parent they turned against.
3. Problems developing and maintaining relationships
Individuals affected by parental alienation tactics may lack traits like acceptance and flexibility. Their abuser conditioned their minds to believe the solution to a problem is to throw people away. The previously mentioned inability to understand that not everything is all “evil” or all “good” may also contribute to their difficulty bonding with others.
Many view parental alienation as abuse. While there is currently little legislation to prohibit it, it does serve as grounds to request modifications to a custody order. It has the potential to emotionally and psychologically scar children for life, but there are options to remove them from or halt exposure to it.