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How does parental alienation hurt children?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2022 | Family Law |

Following a divorce, parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to weaken the bond between the other parent and his or her child. Parental alienation leads children to disown or alienate one of their parents.

According to Psychology Today, over 3 million children suffer due to parental alienation. When one parent alienates a child, it hurts the other parent and harms the child involved.

Damaged relationships

Following parental alienation, children may have difficulties interacting with their peers. They may not relate to them or fear confiding their feelings about their experience with parental alienation. They struggle to believe that someone may support them and tend to hide their fears or difficulties. The alienating parent does not serve as a positive role model. Due to the lack of positive role models, children may not grow up to understand how to make good choices in relationships.

In addition, children lack a good relationship with their other parents. They may have a sense of loss over the parent they cannot choose.

Loss of self-esteem

Kids who live with an alienating parent tend to struggle with mental health. They may have more anxiety, suffer from PTSD or lack self-esteem. They do not believe in themselves or their abilities. Sometimes, the lack of confidence and other mental health issues can cause kids to turn to substance use to cope with the alienation.

Children of parental alienation miss out on a lot of time with their other parents. They may grieve their relationship or the alienated parent. They may fear that the alienated parent will move on without them.