Parental Alienation- The Increasing Threat to Family
As modern family structures have become increasing complex in today’s society, so too has the threat of parental alienation. Parental alienation occurs when one parent influences the child against the other parent. This usually happens when the both parties are seeing the children on a regular basis but are separated and no longer living together. Unfortunately, in most cases this kind of emotional manipulation is unknown to both the child and the parent before it becomes a serious issue.
How does Parental Alienation occur?
When parents have ended a relationship or marriage involving children, often this process of transition can leave one or both parties feeling hurt, distressed and unable to responsibly process emotions. In situations where there has been a breakdown of trust between the parental parties, often these emotions will affect interactions with the child. This can cause destructive attitudes towards one parent which the child may subconsciously align with. Although Parental Alienation is sometimes intended retribution, in most cases this is done unintentionally.
What can I do to prevent Parental Alienation?
Essentially, collaboration is key. The best process to avoid parental alienation is to engage with the Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) effectively. When both parties come together for mediation, this provides a great platform for issues to be raised and arrangements to be made in an environment aware from the children. In most circumstances of FDR, the parties are able to reach an agreement regarding the children which achieves the best outcome for the whole family.
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Additionally, if one party has feelings of distress, anger or betrayal, these sentiments are both addressed and resolved to allow both parents to present a united front when raising the children. Ultimately, this is the crucial “key” to avoid parental alienation. Although FDR may address some preliminary issues, family therapy is recommended to repair broken relationships and voice emotions in a positive environment.