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How to address parental alienation

Some divorcees in Texas may find themselves experiencing parental alienation. This happens when one parent attempts to turn a child against the other. A parent who has been diagnosed with a borderline or narcissistic personality disorder may be more likely to target an ex with parental alienation. Parental alienation may start in subtle ways, but there are signs that parents can watch for.

For example, a child may begin requesting that a parent stop attending events or meetings at school. Oppositional behavior, including arguments and explosive rage, may suddenly increase in a child along with an entitled attitude toward a parent's gifts or time. The child may no longer recognize positive experiences with the targeted parent or make disparaging remarks using the same language used by the ex.

Although it may be difficult, a targeted parent should disengage from these dynamics in order to respond effectively. This means refusing to be provoked and reacting instead by lovingly establishing boundaries. The targeted parent should not speak negatively about the ex. If necessary, they may speak to a professional about the issue.

Parental alienation might also occur during divorce while the ex spouses are going through child custody negotiations. This can add a level of emotional difficulty to the process, and it may cause negotiations to break down. Targeted parents may be concerned about how the ex will portray them to the judge if the case goes to court. A parent who is in this situation might want to talk to an attorney about the best strategy. For example, documenting examples of the alienation may be helpful. A parent could also make an effort to appear cooperative and demonstrate time spent as the child's caregiver.

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