Some parents in North Carolina might end up having to deal with issues of parental alienation. This situation harms both the alienated parent and the child and can escalate from a mild case to a severe case if not properly addressed.
Defining parental alienation
Parental alienation is often the product of a contentious divorce where due to one parent’s manipulation, a child might feel hostile against their other parent. In fact, the other parent is at the resulting end of bitterness, hatred and anger from their child without real justification.
How parental alienation can escalate and how to treat it
There are several stages of parental alienation, and each has different ways to treat it to correct the situation. These include:
- Mild alienation where the child resists spending time with their alienated parent is fine and enjoys their time with them once together
- Moderate alienation where the child is hostile to the alienated parent even when they are together
- Severe alienation where the child’s feelings are so strong against the alienated parent that they might hide to avoid visits or even run away
In mild cases, the solution might be as simple as a judge ordering the custodial parent to respect and follow the parenting plan, including not speaking badly about the other parent to the child. In moderate cases, the solution might involve individual counseling for the child and the parents and the parents working with a parenting coordinator to Improve their communication skills after the end of the marriage. Severe cases might result in a court-ordered change in custody, from the alienating parent to the alienated parent, while the issues are sorted out.
It is best to address parental alienation as soon as you become aware that it is happening. The more it escalates, the more damaging it can become for the child and for the relationship between the child and the alienated parent.