Effects of Parental Alienation on Children
Parental alienation can have devastating effects on innocent children. For instance, it may cause children to:
- Feel confused and frightened
- Feel bullied by the alienating parent
- Falsely believe that the targeted (alienated) parent is ‘bad,’ is the enemy, causing problems, etc.
- Lose their sense of safety and security
- Experience negative emotional reactions
- Develop maladaptive behavior patterns
Research indicates that the effects of parental alienation can be long-lasting, and cause significant issues for children later on in their lives.
What If The Child Doesn’t Want To Spend Time With Them?
The child’s wishes are important, but it’s crucial to make sure that what the child wants is really being reflected by what the child says. Unless there has been physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse inflicted on the child by the alienated parent, it is generally best that the child is still be encouraged to spend time with him/her (though this may not be true in all circumstances).
Sometimes it’s the case that the child has been brainwashed by the alienating parent into thinking he/she doesn’t want to have contact with the alienated parent; this is especially true in cases in which the child previously had a close relationship with the alienated parent. This might satisfy the child in the short term, but in the long term, it’s usually in the child’s best interests to have both parents involved in his/her life.