How does parental alienation affect kids?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2022 | Family Law

When it comes to many custody disputes, the courts prefer to award joint custody to parents. It is in the best interest of a child to have a healthy, loving relationship with both parents, provided that both parents offer the proper love and care to the child.

When a parent participates in parental alienation, they are actually inflicting a form of abuse on the child. Along with the harm caused to the alienated parent, the child at the center of the dispute also experiences a great deal of harm. Here are a few things that can happen as a result of alienation.

Greater mental health issues

People who have experienced parental alienation when young typically have higher rates of mental health issues, such as anxiety or even thoughts of suicide. This can then lead to issues with drug and alcohol use, which can possibly develop into an addiction disorder. Confidence and self-esteem issues can also occur.

Damaged relationship bonds

Parental alienation can damage the bonds between parents and children for many years to come. This damage can result from a physical distance if one parent moves the child far away from the other. However, other alienating parents may tell the child that their ex-spouse no longer loves them, which creates a feeling of resentment and anger. Even if the relationship is eventually repaired, the bond can experience lasting ill effects.

Personal and professional problems

Many people who experience alienation as children experience issues building and maintaining personal relationships with others. This can have much to do with a lack of trust, which results from the alienating parent’s actions. Employment can also suffer, as the person may lack fundamental education and training due to the alienating parent’s overwhelming need for attention.

If you believe your former spouse is acting in an alienating manner, refer to your parenting agreement. Both parties must abide by the terms of the agreement or the matter can go back to court for further attention.