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Parental Alienation How to Identify and Avoid It

Dennis Gac

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To better understand Parental Alienation you must first know exactly what you are dealing with. It is best defined as a form of social and psychological brain washing of the child or children by one parent to turn the children against the other parent. The “offending parent" will overtly or subtly paint the “target parent’ to the child as irrelevant and insignificant, and even in some cases as dangerous. It can be done verbally as well as with body language, facial expression, tone of voice, inappropriate actions, and even humiliation. To use any child this way is kidnapping the innocence and soul of the child, and confusing them into mistrusting their own feelings.

The child is all too often dragged into the middle of most divorces, and is used as a pawn by the mother against the father so as to gain an advantage in family court for custody. The child is forced into choosing sides, causing even more damage to the relationship with the alienated parent. This happens over ninety percent of the time. The real victim is the child.

What makes the Alienation of a parent even more frustrating, is the courts very often don't allow it as valid evidence in the court proceedings for the alienated to get some control back. There is often no concrete way to prove that a parent is being intentionally alienated from their child by the other parent.

Three Types of Alienation

Naïve alienators are parents who are passive about the children's relationship with the other parent but will occasionally do or say something that can alienate. All parents will occasionally be naïve alienators.

Active alienators also know better than to alienate, but their intense hurt or anger causes them to impulsively lose control over their behavior or what they say. Later, they may feel very guilty about how they behaved.

Obsessed alienators have a fervent cause to destroy the targeted parent. Frequently a parent can be a blend between two types of alienators, usually a combination between the naïve and active alienator. Rarely does the obsessed alienator have enough self-control or insight to blend with the other types. These three patterns of alienating behaviors are not intended to be used as a diagnosis. The types have not been validated sufficient for litigation.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you are being alienated from your own child, know that the situation in the court system is not perfect, but it is constantly improving. Judges are more often recognizing when valid cases are before them and are more willing than ever before to work with the injured parent.


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