Home > Parents, Professionals > Parental Alienation: Allegations and the Favored Parent

Parental Alienation: Allegations and the Favored Parent

 

 

Parental Alienation: Allegations and the Favored Parent

Copyright © 2018 by Monika Logan, M.A., LPC, LSOTP

 

When a parent is identified as being the favored parent and accused of undermining the relationship between the other (rejected) parent and their child, the favored parent may feel discouraged and indicate that he/she is doing everything possible to promote the parent-child relationship.

The favored parent will often insist that he/she does not speak ill of the rejected parent, but rather encourages the child to communicate with the rejected parent. The favored parent may pronounce that the child’s rejection is a direct result of the rejected parent’s (in)actions and/or behaviors. The favored parent may also be inclined to attribute the child’s rejection to the rejected parent’s disposition and/or some other personality and/or behavioral flaw of the rejected parent. The favored parent may indicate that the child no longer wants to spend time with the rejected parent and that he/she cannot and should not force the child to do so.

What can a parent do? It is important for mental health professionals to realize that when working with families that the reason for rejection may be based in some fragment of reality. It is vital, however, that the favored parent does not mischaracterize the incident, behavior, and/or personality trait of their co-parent (the rejected parent). A common example is when a rejected parent has had an inappropriate response to anger during an isolated incident(s) in which he/she resorts to screaming and/or shouting at the child. Consequently, the child may have developed a fear reaction to the rejected parent. In addition, although the fear response by the child was observable in the past, it has now developed into a momentous concern by the favored parent.

After all, what can a parent accused of alienating behavior do, when his/her ex-spouse is “hot-tempered”? It is imperative that the favored parent does not perpetuate the child’s fear. It may become easy to claim that the rejected parent’s unmanaged anger problem is the cause of the child’s rejection, touting “See, his/her temper is why the child does not want anything to do with him/her.”

What can a parent do? Do not embellish your co-parent’s flaw, which only serves to further exacerbate fear(s).

When it comes to faults, rather than resorting to a myopic view, consider how the rejected parent’s flaw(s) were managed during the marriage/partnership. It is unlikely that your co-parent was flawless during the marriage/partnership. Perhaps the rejected parent’s temperament was an irritant during the marriage/partnership, however, it notably was not the reason for the relationship’s demise.

What can a parent do? Do not let the rejected parent’s temperament serve as weapon of rejection that can be used to sever the relationship with the child.

A common example observed by mental health professionals is a rejected parent who has worked outside of the home in order to provide the favored parent the opportunity to remain at home with the child. During the marriage/partnership, the rejected parent’s working hours were sometimes a frustration, however, he/she also earned an income that provided for many of life’s extras. Therefore, during the marriage/partnership the long hours were acceptable. When soccer games or dance recitals were missed on occasion, positive sentiments were made, such as telling the child that the rejected parent did not want to miss the event, and that he/she will attend next time.

What can a parent do? If the rejected parent went above and beyond to pay for activities and/or other extras during the marriage/partnership, do not use time as the weapon of choice after the marriage/partnership has ended by depicting the rejected parent as “absent” and/or “uninvolved” co-parent.

Sometimes, favored parents will verbally say they want what is “best for their child,” but will behave to the contrary. Here are some actions that may aid to offset and/or curtail allegations of alienation:

  • Promote time with the rejected parent as valuable.
  • Do not schedule activities that your child values during the rejected parent’s parenting time.
  • Do not simply say you will cooperate, show that you will cooperate.
  • Enforce your parental authority. If your child reports they do not want to spend time with the rejected parent, consider how you make your child eat dinner, go to school, and/or any other activity that your child may not want to engage in.
  • Encourage the importance of family. Share positive memories with your child about the rejected parent’s extended family.
  • Do not overact when your child tells you something negative about the rejected parent.
  • Establish boundaries.
  • Do not overschedule your child so that the child does not miss out on valuable time with the rejected parent.
  • Seek help from a well-trained and experienced professional who is skilled in working with children, families, and resist/refuse dynamics.

 

Monika Logan is an owner and the Director of Texas Premier Counseling Services, PLLC (Texas PCS) located in Frisco, Texas. She specializes in Parental Alienation as well as troubled, damaged, and/or strained parent-child relationships. She provides counselling services for parents and their children in conflict and/or those struggling with issues related to separation and/or divorce. Ms. Logan offers Parenting Facilitation Services to help parents reduce conflict, and she helps repair parent-child relationship breaches as a Reunification Counselor.

Categories: Parents, Professionals
  1. Jacqueline
    December 2, 2018 at 3:57 AM

    What about PAS? Parent alienated syndrome? In my case, the abusive absentee dad has brainwashed his adult kids against me. He lost his visitation rights when they were young because of his abuse. His goal with my professional help was to drive me crazy. I realize 2 out of 3 have gave up their power to allow him to brainwash them against me. I did it all raised my 3 by myself with the check that came once a month. Instead of being thankful for all I did for them, I am their target. Their dad appears to them to be the nice man that never did anything and he has the money so they see that. My.oldest daughter is my hero! She told me herself I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I cannot cure it! I told them I love them but I am moving on with my life! Thanks for this group!

  2. Joe Sollaccio
    December 2, 2018 at 12:25 PM

    Haven’t seen or heard from my daughter in sixteen years. Her mother won in her effort to destroy our relationship with not only me but the entire family. Yes, I have tried everything to stay connected. I paid thirteen hundred dollars a month in child support for more than nine years. I don’t know that there are any answers after eighteen years of living with out your only child. I have not found any in almost two decades. Everyone always wants to tell you what you should do or try but they never listen when you tell them you already have. I remain hopeful and positive one day there will be an answer beyond thoughts and prayers. Not sure I will ever understand how vicious someone can be to do this. Yes, I understand life must go on but it never goes away. I guess we all ask the same question…Why?

    • Nicoletta
      December 2, 2018 at 3:17 PM

      Joe, I am a mother and I live the same pain. I raised my ex’s boys like they were my own, for 10 years. When I separated from my ex I was warned he will destroy me. He slowly alienated my daughter and this still happens under the eyes of professionals I hired.
      Why? No one will know the answer why these parents choose to hurt their children with what they do. Ultimately, what they do is the most subtle way of abusing your child. All for revenge, because they cannot think further than their own war. Because they are narcissistic and they like to control and win. My heart tells me one day things will change and these children will wake up when they become adults. It is never too late. I persevere and take anything my daughter throws at me ( with a lot of pain). And I show her and tell her all the time how much I love her. Unconditionally. She suffers inside, and she is no longer the sweet girl she was. All we can do is love them. For me, the why question is gone.

      • Molly
        December 2, 2018 at 7:27 PM

        yes my ex is like your story — he married because his mother told him to. I married him on the rebound that guy that dumped was better looking than Elvis what happen between us I do not know some day the truth will come out. I had 5 children with my husband — he did not want number 4 and 5 gee how come he would not take responsibility and use a condom. The second son and the third died young God gives us this for a reason I do not yet know the answer. The children dad is a alcoholic and is doing the gray rock at this time and truly am waiting for him to fall he will alcohol is more powerful than God and of course it will be my fault I can handle it another part of the abuse.

  3. Natalie
    December 3, 2018 at 4:47 AM

    That’s all great advice for the parent doing the alienation . Getting so far out of hand with the power the alienator has over the child , not being held accountable , for the damage inflictedon the child and rejected parent what good is Counselling or Therapy? What incentive does the Alienator have to want to change.

    • Memphis
      December 3, 2018 at 9:21 PM

      I so understand this point of view and my heart breaks for every person going through this. The pain, sometimes,is unbearable, isn’t it? I am so in need of other people who are going through this, because you are the only ones who can understand me. I truly feel like an alien out in the world, without my child and without closure,trying to live through an extreme case of parent alienation. My center is gone. So, I just want others to know that you’re not alone and don’t give up on yourself.

      • Molly
        December 5, 2018 at 12:00 AM

        Thank you and you are not alone either

  4. Natalie
    December 3, 2018 at 5:08 AM

    You cannot appeal to the consciousnes of reasoning and rationalization of a narcissist.

  5. Natalie
    December 3, 2018 at 4:47 PM

    Generation After Generation has suffered this tactic of seperation of the family unit ! Some call it Socialism.?

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