• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Parents often alienate child from ex

February 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Divorce is always tough on children, and some parents may be making it even harder when they turn against each other. It's called parental alienation, and it's more common than you might think. The syndrome can be overt or subtle. Now there's a test to help parents see if they may be unknowingly alienating their child from their ex."My daughter has been kept from me, my daughter has been told, 'Daddy's bad, daddy's evil," said Edward Pelletier.

Edward believes he is the victim of extreme parental alienation.

"There are parents who then really start a campaign of denigration of the other parent, and their goal is to basically have the child reject the other parent," said Laura Drury, the chief social worker at Butler Hospital in Providence, RI.

Experts say that conditioning can spin a child's life out of control.

"They can incite fear in the child, if you go with the other parent, horrible things will happen to you," said Drury.

There are many forms of parental alienation. You may be doing it and not even know it -- take the quiz and find out.

True or false, without saying a word can a parent alienate a child? For example, rolling your eyes or sighing.

The answer is true. "Children pick up on all kinds of cues," said Drury. "They are very sensitive and impressionable."

True or false, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to revealing relationship problems to your child.

The answer is false, and a simple test can help guide a parent.

"If my partner and I were back together and doing very well, would I still want to tell the child?" asks Drury.

Unless there are safety issues, experts say children prosper from the love of both parents.

Edward says his ex accused him of harming his daughter. Even after being cleared, he says he still struggles to be a father.

Experts say if you feel you are the victim of parental alienation, it is important to address the issue with your ex, but most of all never turn your back on your child no matter how difficult it becomes.

 

Click here for more headlines from ABC7 Eyewitness News


Load Comments