> No More Secrets And Lies: The Eight Primary Manifestations of Parental Alienation

The Eight Primary Manifestations of Parental Alienation

These are behaviors that are only seen with parental alienation. "Even horribly abused children who have been beaten and molested by their parents do not exhibit these behaviors." Amy Baker*

  1. A Campaign of Denigration
Alienated children are consumed with hatred of the targeted parent. They deny any positive past experiences and reject all contact and communication and have difficulty recalling or acknowledging any positive memories of the targeted parent. Parents who were once loved and valued seemingly overnight become hated and feared. The children behave in a rude, arrogant, and disrespectful manner toward the targeted parent. The child has no qualms about denigrating that parent to others in the community. 

  1. Weak, Frivolous, and Absurd Reasons for Rejecting the Targeted Parent
When alienated children are questioned about the reasons for their intense hostility toward the targeted parent, the explanations offered are not of the magnitude that typically would lead a child to reject a parent. These children may complain about the parent’s eating habits, food preparation, or appearance. They may also make wild accusations that could not possibly be true. The child will sometimes refuse to even offer a reason, claiming to have done so too many times before when that is not the case.

  1. Lack of Ambivalence Toward His/Her Parents
The child claims to worship the alienating parent beyond what is appropriate, necessary, or realistic, while claiming to despise the targeted parent. Both responses are unrealistic and show an inability to see each parent as a mix of good and bad qualities. One parent is perceived as perfect while the other is perceived as wholly flawed.

  1. Independent Thinker Phenomenon
The child strenuously insists that the alienating parent played no role in his/her rejection of the targeted parent despite the alienating parent's obvious influence. T hey will adamantly insist that the decision to reject the targeted parent is theirs alone. They deny that their feelings about the targeted parent are in any way influenced by the alienating parent and often invoke the concept of free will to describe their decision.

  1. Lack of Guilt Regarding Poor Treatment of the Targeted Parent
Alienated children typically appear rude, ungrateful, spiteful, and cold toward the targeted parent, and appear to be impervious to feelings of guilt about their harsh treatment. Gratitude for gifts, favors, or child support provided by the targeted parent is nonexistent. Children with parental alienation syndrome will try to get whatever they can from that parent, declaring that it is owed to them.

  1. Reflexive Support for the Alienating Parent in All Parental Conflicts
The child sides with the alienating parent, no matter how absurd, illogical, or inconsistent that parent's position is. There is no willingness or attempt to be impartial when faced with interparental conflicts. Children with parental alienation syndrome have no interest in hearing the targeted parent’s point of view. Nothing the targeted parent could do or say makes any difference to these children.

  1. Presence of Borrowed Scenarios
The child uses words, phrases, and concepts that are not understood, cannot be defined, and are readily attributable to the ideas and beliefs of the alienating parent. Indications that a scenario is borrowed includes speaking in a scripted or robotic fashion, as well as making accusations that cannot be supported with detail.

  1. Spread of Animosity to Friends and Family of the Targeted Parent
The child cuts off and/or denigrates formerly beloved friends, neighbors, and family based on their association with the targeted parent.  Formerly beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are suddenly and completely avoided and rejected.

from "Parental Alienation Syndrome — The Parent/Child Disconnect"
By Amy J. L. Baker, PhD
Social Work Today
Vol. 8 No. 6 P. 26

* Parts also from Surviving Parental Alienation: A Journey of Hope and Healing, by Amy Baker and Paul Fine. Rowman and Littlefield. 2014.


Anonymous said...

I can check all eight points.

Luciana Rossi

Anonymous said...

I hope education will come to youth. They deserve to be educated about Parental Alienation, "the worst form of child abuse," just as they would about sexual or any other form of psychological and physical abuse.

Anonymous said...

For an excellent video series on parental alienation - along with a psychological diagnoses which fits within DSM-V - take a look here: https://www.youtube.com/user/padchildress/videos

John Brosnan said...

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

Fran Donovan said...

Thanks for this educational blog

John Brosnan said...

You're welcome. I hope it helps.

Kellie Castro said...

I've never felt a more painful pain than the pain of my beautiful daughter telling me, "she wants nothing to do with me, ever again." She has stopped all communications with me and my family. It's like I never existed. Just like that, she's gone....she's gone...How am I supposed to just "go on?" I don't understand...

John Brosnan said...

I feel for you Kellie. That is one of the most painful things a parent can hear.

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