Signs And Symptoms Of Parental Alienation

Signs And Symptoms Of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is a term that refers to a child’s rejection of one parent and the subsequent damage caused by that rejection. There may be several reasons for alienation to take place. Here we will have a look at the top 10 signs of parental alienation. Before that we need to know what parental alienation is.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is when a child is manipulated by one parent in order to harm the relationship between the other parent and their child. This can happen when a child is accused of something that they didn’t do or told to lie about the things their Dad or Mom did with them. It is an extreme form of emotional abuse in which a child purposely does something to hurt his or her other parent, usually with their parent’s consent.

The Different Types of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is a persistent, malignant and destructive form of child abuse. It is a type of brainwashing which instills in the children an irrational and intense hatred for the other parent. This behaviour can take many forms. These include refusal to speak with the other parent, disregarding holidays, birthdays, and family functions celebrating alone or with the abuser, unexplained absences from school without prior notice to the other parent, extreme insensitivity to the needs of the other parent, etc.

Signs and Symptoms of Parental Alienation in Children

It may happen when one parent tries to pull a child away from the other parent. It can cause damage in a variety of ways. Children may experience depression, anxiety, and increased risk for debilitating stress-related disorders. The most common signs of parental alienation are when a child changes his or her language preference away from the other parent, stops talking to their other parent, and starts saying hurtful things about them.

It alters the basic dynamics of a healthy family and prevents children from forming healthy relationships with both parents. Signs that your child may be experiencing parental alienation include a significant drop in their grades, an abrupt change in behaviour, or if they begin to talk about one parent’s unfair behaviours in a negative way. This often happens when there has been a significant family break-up or when parents have divorced


Parental alienation is a situation in which one parent emotionally manipulates the other and gradually takes over the parenting responsibilities. This includes preventing the alienated parent from seeing their children and also stops them from being part of the daily activities of the children. Often, this is done to punish or control another person and it is detrimental to everyone involved. This all leads to the toxic environment all around the person. To keep oneself away from all this, join the support group for parental alienation.


  1. Hannah


    my parent is convinced that she and I am a victim of parental alienation by my father. They were in a nasty separation and eventually my 2 sisters and me began living solely with my father at age 16 and cut all contact with mom because I was tired of the back and forth nasty things BOTH parties had to say about each other – hers got worse, to the point that I felt trapped and fearful when she would make a point to talk down about him (and try and convince me to live with her full time so he would have to pay her support money) on long car rides when she knew I wasn’t able to leave. To note, my father encouraged me to seek independent counselling and start a relationship again with her during this time, and eventually respected me after I asked him to stop talking negatively about her. Anyway, 10 years later and we have had minimal contact with our mom over the years. The last phone call I had, I initiated and she is still stuck in her own world accusing him of ruining our lives and will not listen to my side of the story / want to move on and create our own relationship without talking about him. In fact, she told me I needed to seek professional help and that one day I will realize what is happening to me. Yet, I am very successful, in a healthy relationship, have a great job, my masters degree, and have seen a therapist over the years who has never noticed any signs of abuse/alienation – she on the other hand has had issues in all of these areas. She sends me holiday cards about reuniting as a family yet it seems she is convinced that we’re victims of abuse and doesn’t want to move on and start fresh. I don’t see it and in fact believe she has some deep issues of her own that she masks by claiming my sisters and I were stolen from her by my father. To note, she has also openly tried to convince all of my family members (both sides of the family) that this is the case including making up stories about my sisters and I being physically abused by him (which never happened).

    Any suggestions on how I can let her know I am not being abused and in fact made up my own mind about her?? I have never expressed hatred towards her and in fact have resquested that we mend our past and move forward – but she won’t until I admit what she believes (that she thinks we are victims of alienation)

    ** I am very aware that parental alienation is real and affects families like mine – however, I’m talking about my individual case.

    • Hi Hannah,

      It sound like a really painful and challanging experience.

      If you want a relationship with your mom a empathetic response might be useful. It is not about wrong or right its about acknowledging the other persons feelings and needs. Once we feel heard and seen it creates a spaciousness for love, connection and change.

      Any form of estrangement or alienation is so complex and anxiety provoking the only way through it is a place of love. This is an incredible challanging place to get to. Non violent communication is a life saving tool for every relationship in my life.

      Google NVC if you are wanting some new pathways, there are a plethora of videos, groups and information that I think will be very useful.

      good luck:))

  2. Matthew Kinney

    I am father who is alienated from his children from his boys by there mother . I am looks for support groups to help get through this .

    • Hi Matthew,

      I hope to see you at a meeting. The support of the group has changed my life. Please check you email or spam for all meeting links and info.

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