Parental Alienation is the darker side of being part of a step family. There are degrees of it, from disruption and hostile behaviour - to try and estrange the children from their Dad - to severe child abuse where a child is "turned against" the other parent via manipulation, lies about the other parent. punishments as coercion and verbal derogation - to the point where the child displays hostility or rejects the other parent. Extreme cases are rare, but neither parent should speak negatively about the other one, as it makes children feel conflicted and confused. When one parent uses the children as a weapon to hurt the other parent, and in so doing, hurts the children as well, this causes emotional and psychological harm.

Sometimes it is intended to hurt and punish and push you and your partner, and the children - so you reject each other and an intended to bust up your family dynamic. Other times it's unconscious and to do with the alienating parent's own lack of insight and psychological issues.

If parental alienation is taking place, it can cause severe stress and emotional upset to your Husband/Partner, you as a target also and the children. One of the best remedies for this is to have a good court order with the children spending as much time as possible with Dad, you and family. This allows them regular normality and happiness in a normal enviroment, away from the alienating parent, and less opportunity for them to be manipulated. A watertight court order helps, with defined holiday weeks and defined midweek times and week-ends. This helps set boundaries. But If disruption continues there are other strategies or iif the order isn't followed, or isn't followed, it may need a return to court. One area where the boundaries can still be crossed, is via children having their own phones by a certain age. There is very good expert advice on how to manage this - see our book section. Also setting house rules regarding phones. Not at meal times, not after certain times of day - and a few other strategies. There is a thread on managing phone disruption on the forum.

There are also many resources and literature on this topic on the forum, and a section of the forum to seek advice and guidance, and share the problems.

Parental Alienation Awareness day is 25th April each year.
  • Like
Reactions: Noodle