Any parent who is navigating custody or divorce can benefit greatly from detecting the signs of parental alienation. Unfortunately, it is not always clear if a child has been impacted by the condition, which is why parents should be on the lookout during this difficult period of transition. The following are some of the key things that parents should be on the lookout for if they are concerned about parental alienation.
Spotting Signs of Parental Alienation
Some of the most common signs of parental alienation include the following:
- Depression. Among the numerous signs of parental alienation, depression is one of the most common.
- Difficulty controlling emotions. If a child is being alienated, he or she will be under a great amount of stress and may not have the skills necessary to handle complex emotions.
- Difficulty in school. Children who are alienated from their parents often have more problems in schools due to stress. They may find it more difficult to concentrate and focus on school assignments.
- Difficulty sleeping. Children with parental alienation often have a difficult time falling asleep and might suffer from nightmares.
- Drug and alcohol abuse. Children with parental alienation are at an increased risk of using drugs and alcohol. When opposition between parents creates a lack of parental oversight, the children often feel that they can get away with things that other children cannot.
- Eating disorders. Children experiencing parental alienation often feel that they need to gain control over aspects of their lives. Unfortunately, this often results in eating disorders.
- Lack of impulse control. Due to the overwhelming emotions and lack of coping mechanisms, it is common for children undergoing parental alienation to get angry and make bad decisions.
- Low self-esteem. When a child grows to think a parent is undesirable or bad, it is common for children to end up feeling bad or unworthy themselves because they are the offspring of the parent.
- Separation anxiety. Children with parental alienation are frequently anxious about leaving the parent performing the alienation to spend time with the other parent.
False Allegations of Parental Alienation
In some situations, parents, unfortunately, make up cases of parental alienation that are not occurring. In some situations, these false claims are created by a narcissistic parent who feels under attack during a divorce and wants to make sure that a child does not adore the other parent. When false allegations of parental alienation arise, parents must take prompt action.
Some of the helpful steps that parents who are on the receiving end of false complaints should take include:
- Keep a detailed log of things that are being said and things that are occurring during visitations.
- If it is necessary, request court intervention.
- Maintain positive ongoing relationships with other adults around the child including counselors, coaches, religious leaders, and teachers.
- Make sure that the child attends a therapy session with someone who is specialized in working with children of divorced parents.
- Do not say anything demeaning about the other parent that the child can hear.
Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Spotting the signs of parental alienation in a child as well as handling false allegations of parental alienation is not easy. If you need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation.