Marital relationships are not perfect. Every couple deals with different issues and reasons for separation. It is a known fact that when the two decided to call it quits, some things in their lives that they invested together should completely end up with shared rights and responsibilities. In this particular case, the most common thing separated parents deal with “rights and responsibilities” is the children.
When the marriage didn’t end up that good, the usual response of one parent is to alienate the children from the other parent. One deliberately or unknowingly behaves differently to convince the children to go against the target parent to disrupt their parent-child relationships.
Parental alienation usually comes from unresolved feelings, particularly bitterness and anger towards the target one. It gets used to taking advantage of the situation and the children. An alienating parent alienates children without realizing long-term harm. But how does the alienating parent do that? Here are some of their common strategies.
Badmouthing – Alienating parent usually badmouths about the other parent behind their back. That is because they want to put out their frustrations on the target parent due to the personal impact that marital separation had brought them. Parental alienators use unkind words to describe the other parent so that children avoid getting attached to the other party. Badmouthing is commonly effective as it changes children and alienated parent’s communication course.
Staged Absence – An alienating parent is good at staging the target parent’s absence to manipulate the children. They often create an environment where there are no displayed photos and other things related to the alienated parent. Alienating parent avoids talking about the target parent so that children can cut the desire to know more about the other side. It becomes an effective strategy as children focused more on engaging with the alienating parent and eventually builds disgust over the other. The kids will eventually and willingly ignore the other parent as they would not see them much of the important part of their lives.
Limiting Contact – One easiest way of controlling the children is by limiting their contacts to their alienated parent. Usually, the alienating parent would impose rules limiting the kids from seeing or communicating with the other parent. Limiting contact is a strategy that often results in children’s emotional issues since most of them would develop the urge to contact the other party. The strategy is somewhat inconvincible at first. But once the alienated parent established a good basis to stop communication, children will soon get used to the flow.
Imposing Danger – Since most alienating parents are bitter and feeling betrayed, they would try and get back to their exes by using the kids. They would tell them that the target parent does not love anymore. And every time the target parent would try and contact the children, the alienating parent would hinder it by creating an impression that the targeted parent will cause danger. In some scenarios, the alienating parent would tell the kids that the other parent will hurt them to get revenge. It would create an emotional detachment, and children will soon voluntarily move away from the target parent.
Forcing To Choose – In an almost everyday scenario of separated parents, there is always the pressure to convince the best children. In case the alienated parents lose their winning point, they often force the children to choose. It is a strategy that often makes the alienating parents more favorable than the other because they take advantage of their time spent with the children and use it as an asset. Alienating parents would force the child to reject or ignore the target parent and use the “I’m the one who’s here” card.
Imposing Fear – In some unfortunate instances where the issue between parents is out of hand, they intend to destroy each other by imposing fear on their children. An alienator would often scare the kids by telling them that they would leave or die if the kids choose the other parent over them. And since the kids couldn’t afford to handle their emotions, they would immediately choose the alienating parent because their presence has become more powerful than the other. It is a strategy that usually traumatizes children as the imposed fear grows overboard sometimes.
Asking Kids To Spy – Most alienating parents start with their parental alienation by asking the children to spy on the other parent. It somehow makes the children think that the action is validating the target parent’s wrongdoing despite no solid evidence. In this situation, alienating parents discretely teach the children to lie and keep secrets from the other parent to slowly remove the parent-children association. It becomes an effective alienating strategy because kids sooner or later judge their targeted parent as they focused more on their parent’s negative aspects.