Beginnings of Parental Alienation

The beginnings of parental alienation can be subtle.  See the examples below.

In fact, the alienating parent is simply trying to help delude themselves that something is very wrong with the other parent. Both alienating parent and child will claim that there was no attempt to alienate the child, which may be true from the standpoint of their psychological awareness.

See also, real live audio, video, and picture examples of how to alienate a child.  Read also Dr. Craig Childress explanation of how this happens, on his blog: "Victimized Child: The internal working model of the “victimized child” which is contained in the attachment trauma networks of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent is assigned to the current child through a series of distorted communication exchanges with the child in which a criticism of the targeted parent is first elicited from the child through motivated and directive questioning by the narcissistic/(borderline) parent, followed by the inflammation and distortion of this elicited criticism by the response it receives from the narcissistic/(borderline) parent, who leads the child into believing that the child is being “victimized” by the supposedly abusive parental inadequacy of the other parent. It is the child’s belief in this false trauma reenactment role as the supposedly “victimized child” that represents Diagnostic Indicator 3 of the delusional belief."

Example One of the beginnings of parental alienation: (from Rodman’s “The Parental Alienation Syndrome”)

Wife to child: “That’s it, you’re in time-out!”

Husband: (sighs, smiles at the child as they walk into time-out)

Wife: “What was that?”

Husband: “What was what?”

Wife: “You don’t support me with the kids! No wonder they act out.”

Husband: “Act out? That was nothing. She was just sitting there. You’re really out of control lately. Calm yourself.”

Wife: “You’re so patronizing, I can’t believe you! Maybe I could calm myself if you helped me with discipline!”


Example Two of the beginnings of parental alienation: (from Rodman’s “The Parental Alienation Syndrome”)

Husband: “I need some quiet here for my call at 2.”

Wife (long-suffering tone): “John, they’re children.”

Husband: “Right, and I was a child who was quiet when my father needed quiet.”

Wife (sighing): “Fine, guys, let’s go down to the basement — maybe we can come up and do something fun later if Daddy stops working.”


Example Three of the beginnings of parental alienation: (From Childress)

Alienating Parent: How did things go at your father’s house? Did everything go okay?

Child: Yeah it was fine

Alienating Parent: Really? You two got along okay? Nothing happened?

Child: Well it was kind of boring

Alienating Parent: “Oh I can’t believe your father didn’t have anything planned to do! He only has 1 weekend with you; you’d think he could plan something to do. He’s selfish and only thinks of himself.”