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Tips for Preventing Parental Alienation

Posted on July 27, 2023

Actions and words used by a parent can send negative messages to a child about the other parent, creating a situation of alienation. A child may see the other parent suspiciously, feel unsafe in their presence, and become fearful of that parent.

Often the intention is to hurt the other parent. When one parent targets another, the child’s physical and emotional security may feel threatened without true risk. It is not uncommon for children to suffer from bouts of depression and anxiety, emotional insecurities, and identity crises in these situations.

Recourse in Preventing Alienation

If you feel the other parent is trying to alienate you, think of your child first. Counseling allows a neutral party to step in and help your child work through complex emotions. If you are still in the process of divorce, working with an experienced New York parental alienation attorney allows for the advocating of your rights and your child’s best interest.

Write it Down

Document what is happening and discuss legal options before the situation becomes unmanageable. No matter the perceived betrayal to your child by the other parent, maintain a positive conversation with your child. Listening without giving an angry response will affirm that you love your child and it is safe to share with you.

Blowing up at the other parent may bring recourse to your child or cause the child to feel responsible for what is happening. It is vital that a child understands what is happening is not their fault.

Seek Counseling

Your child will benefit from help, but you may also require counseling to gain new tools to communicate effectively with your child and combat the aggression that is aimed at you by the other parent. Experiencing parental alienation can take a toll on your well-being, creating feelings of isolation and a strained parent-child relationship.

I am Being Accused of Parental Alienation

If the other parent accuses you of parental alienation, take a moment to pause before responding to the accusation. It is normal to feel defensive. You can take action to correct the behavior, whether intentional or not.

  • Calmly ask for distinct examples of your behavior.
  • Affirm the other parent by speaking about them positively to your child, place photos or mementos of the other parent in your child’s room, and always monitor what you say going forward.
  • Reflect on what the other parent has said to determine if this was your intention. Comments may sound more harsh than they are meant, so choosing a more positive tone can help.
  • If possible, seek mediation to find a better way to co-parent and prevent parental alienation.

Are my Actions Justified?

Parental alienation can also be called gatekeeping, or behaviors meant to restrict or prevent a child from seeing the other parent. It is best to allow courts to establish these limitations when a parent has been abusive or participates in activities that endanger the child.

When these actions are unjustified, gatekeeping aims to create fear or animosity toward the other parent, resulting in detrimental effects to your child’s mental health.

Working Toward Healthy Relationships After a New York Divorce

Despite how you and the other parent feel about each other, a child will benefit from both parents’ positive support and interaction. Asking for help resolving parental alienation issues may be necessary to prevent damage to your child’s relationships. Vivien I. Stark has dedicated more than 30 years to Matrimonial and Family law and can offer guidance when you’re unsure where to turn.

Contacting the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. is the first step in seeking sound advice and finding a resolution when you experience parental alienation.


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