A parent in Maryland might face parental alienation during a separation or after a divorce. Parental alienation occurs when one parent purposely tries to ruin the bond between their child and the other parent. In this situation, the alienated parent isn’t a threat to the child and hasn’t done anything to harm the child.
For parental alienation to work, one parent must manipulate their child’s perception of the other parent. This is often done by constantly making negative comments to the child about the other parent. Other examples include lying about the parent to the child or limiting the parent’s child custody privileges.
Parental alienation can cause emotional distress for the alienated parent. In most cases, the child will suddenly start to act hostile towards the alienated parent. The child might even reject the parent and stop spending time with that parent. As a result, the alienated parent is hurt by the child’s rejection or feels hopeless about repairing the relationship.
Coping with parental alienation
Dealing with the emotional distress of parental alienation isn’t easy. The alienated parent can seek support from friends and family. The assistance of a mental healthcare professional or legal assistance might become necessary. Trying to maintain a positive attitude can possibly help as well, as it might help deal with the negative feelings caused by the alienation.
Parental alienation damages the bond between the alienated parent and the child. And although the aim is to hurt the alienated parent, the manipulated child also feels emotional distress. The alienated parent should continue to show love and support to the child – even when the child is resistant.
It takes time and determination to rebuild the damaged bond between the alienated parent and the child. However, it’s possible to restore the parent-child bond.