Many years ago, Social Work Today published an article about Parental Alienation Syndrome. Of course, divorce and separation can cause a multitude of ill feelings toward a former partner; however, when those feelings spill over into a negative impact on the children, then there is a problem. The article states that there are two related problems for social workers working with children and divorced or separated parents:
The article had other interesting points to make about the consequences of parental alienation and the effects it has on children such as anxiety, depression, or relationship problems. School social workers have found that a child acting out or suffering academically often has no contact with a “hated” parent. When questioned further, the child denounces that parent due to the family doing things to purposefully exclude the other parent from the child’s school life. They do this in calculated ways like misrepresenting the alienated parent’s intentions to school staff, withholding information from them to make it look as if he or she has no interest in the child’s schooling. Alienation from the child’s school life also occurs when a parent is removed from the contact information from school records without a valid reason.
Richard Gardner, Ph.D., lists eight manifestations of parental alienation syndrome in children:1
In addition to the children suffering the consequences of not having the parent involved, alienated parents are overcome with fear that the other parent is turning their children against them. These parents also live with anxiety, depression, helplessness, and victimization by not only the other parent but also the child.
In my profession, I, unfortunately, see the consequences of one parent’s intentions to poison a child’s relationship with the other parent. Experts agree that anytime a child can have a relationship with both parents, it is in the child’s best interest. If you are a victim of parental alienation, contact Kevin Hickey Law Partners for professional help. We have handled cases like yours, and we would be happy to help. The River Valley office number is 479.434.2414 and the Northwest Arkansas number is 479.802.6560.
1richardagardner.com; The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for Mental Health and Legal Professionals