Parental Alienation or Estrangement?/Photo by mohamed Abdelgaffar from Pexels
Both parental alienation and parental estrangement have the same effect: a breakdown of the parent-child relationship. This results in children not wanting to see the parent.
Parental estrangement is the result of fights or negative feelings that the children develop for their parent. For example, a child who perceives abandonment will feel estranged. This frequently happens when they feel a parent is “leaving them” to start a “new family”. Or maybe the mother-daughter relationship is strained due to multiple emotional fights and outbursts. Perhaps one parent has a history of unfulfilled promises, and the child is left feeling rejected, and incapable of trusting them.
Parental alienation results from one parent’s constant attack of the other, causing the child to reject them. It is one parent’s active campaign to smear the other parent. The constant badmouthing poisons the child against the other, and causes the child to be alienated from the other parent.
In short, parental estrangement results from something you did, whereas parental alienation results from something the other parent did.
How to Overcome Parental Estrangement
- Don’t Give Up on your Child. Every parent-child relationship has its ups and downs. If something you did is troubling the child, keep actively pursuing your relationship with them.
- NEVER miss visits. Your word is your currency. The only way to rebuild trust it to not let them down.
- Respect Your Child’s Boundaries. The child may not want to see you for a while. Be gentle and show you love them without forcing them to forgive you.
- Reunification Therapy. Seek a counselor who is experienced at bringing you two together to talk.
How to Overcome Parental Alienation
Parental alienation syndrome is more difficult to overcome, as it involves handling the other parent. For information, try Break Through Parenting which discuss in detail the signs and symptoms of Parental Alienation Syndrome.
To detect Parental Alienation Syndrome, the Courts must order a thorough child custody evaluation. If one parent is on a mission to destroy the relationship of the child with the other parent, they do not have the child’s best interests at heart.