In families where there is a divorce and one partner alienates the children from the other partner, this is called “parent alienation syndrome.” It is a very sad situation and happens all the time in our culture. The partner will treat the children like the surrogate spouse, talk negatively about the former partner and put the children in a very difficult position.
Parent alienation is not only harmful…it is abuse.
A parent who is angry at the spouse or ex-spouse accomplishes this estrangement by painting a negative picture of the other parent via deprecating comments, blame, and false accusations shared with the children. They may also “hoard” the kids, doing all they can to thwart the other parent from spending time with them.
According to Psychology Today blogger Edward Kruk, Ph.D, “Parental alienation is a serious child protection matter as it undermines a basic principle of social justice for children: the right to know and be cared for by both of one’s parents.”
If you are struggling with an alienation situation, do not struggle on your own. There are many resources available to help you connect with others living through the same situation and we’d be happy to talk with you more.