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Identifying and responding to parental alienation

Parental alienation involves one parent trying to turn a child against the other, and it may be a serious concern for some parents in northern Kentucky after a divorce. It may begin gradually, such as with a parent's request to postpone a visitation because the child is sick or has homework to do. Later, the child might have a behavioral change and become argumentative.

The child might even exhibit signs of rage and verbally attack the targeted parent using phrasing the other parent does. Despite this, the child will usually deny that the other parent plays any role in this behavior. The targeted parent might be taken off contact lists for camp and school, and the child may ask them to stop attending extracurricular activities. The child may dismiss any positive bonding experiences with the targeted parent, and the child's behavior toward any gifts or tasks done may be one of entitlement.

A parent can take some steps to address parental alienation. They may want to contact a professional since parental alienation can be damaging to the child and to the family unit. It is best if the parent can avoid being provoked into an emotional response. Instead, they should respond with love and an affirmation of boundaries. The targeted parent should also avoid badmouthing the other parent.

A person who is dealing with parental alienation at any point during the divorce or after the divorce may also want to discuss options with an attorney. It may be difficult for the parent to demonstrate to a court that harm may be done to the child, but it might be possible for the parent to get a modification in custody or visitation. The attorney may be able to advise on the possible legal strategies for dealing with the situation.

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