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Signs of parental alienation

Individuals use strategies to create conflict between a child and the parent who is targeted for alienation. These behaviours and intended conflict lead to the rejection of that parent. The manifesting symptoms during parental alienation include, but are not limited to:

1. Badmouthing or denigrating the target parent.

2. Limiting contact e.g. dropping the kids off late, picking them up early, arranging activities for the child in the target parent’s appointed time or moving far away from the target parent.

3. Interfering with communication e.g. not allowing calls, distracting the child during calls, withholding letters and presents from their parent.

4. Interfering with symbolic communication e.g. removing all photos of the target parent from the child’s home and not allowing the child to speak of them.

5. Withdrawal of love or approval from the child.

6. Telling the child the target parent doesn’t love them.

7. Allowing the child to believe that parenting time with the target parent is optional.

8. Creating a false impression, the target parent is dangerous – with the child and those providing child services.

9. Confiding in the child about adult issues.

10. Forcing the child to reject the targeted parent.

11. Asking the child to spy on the target parent.

12. Asking the child to keep secrets from the target parent.

13. Referring to the target parent by their first name.

14. Referring to a step parent as “mum” or “dad” and encouraging the child to do the same.

15. Withholding medical, social or academic information from the target parent.

16. Changing the child’s name to remove their association with the target parent.

17. Undermining the authority of the target parent.

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