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Law Office of Lily L. Huang

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Parental alienation syndrome causes kids lasting emotional damage

You advise your children to not hang around a person you feel is a bad or harmful influence. At the Law Office of Lily L. Huang, we know that there is a difference between shielding your children from negative influences and deliberately alienating them from a parent who deserves their love and attention. You and other California residents should understand the harmful effects of parental alienation.

According to Psychology Today, parental alienation syndrome is the definition of one parent trying to turn the children against the other parent. If your ex is trying to alienate your children from you, he or she might use the following tactics:

  • Making false accusations about your character and parenting methods and trying to get others to side against you
  • Constantly bad-mouthing you to your children
  • Blaming you for anything that goes wrong
  • Thwarting the parenting time you have with your kids

A parent who unfairly alienates the other from the children may have narcissistic tendencies or another personality disorder that focuses on getting attention, not accepting accountability, blaming others for their problems and always needing to be right. Or, your ex may simply want to get back at you for the divorce or another slight, and he or she understands that the most effective way to hurt you is by using the children.

Sadly, it can cause lifelong psychological damage if your children are alienated from you, regardless of whether they believe your ex’s accusations and other tactics. As our page on children and divorce explains, family law can be especially painful and complicated when kids are involved, and legal intervention is often necessary.