Two Keys of Parental Alienation

Sep 08

Two Keys of Parental Alienation

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Parental alienation requires “two keys” to start and run the destructive behavioral system. Understanding the requirement of “two keys” is an important insight and helps the family law court and lawyer to see through the conflict cloud that obscures the root cause of parental alienation.
  • The first key. The ignition of parental alienation syndrome is often a mistake, lapse in judgment, or life incident that befalls the disfavored or alienated parent. Examples of these events may include an argument that’s gone bad between the child and the disfavored parent, a parenting mistake such as overly harsh or misplaced discipline, or the event could be more severe such as an arrest, disclosure of an adulterous affair or some other adult themed event that comes to the attention of the alienated child.

This event that occurs in the life of the disfavored parent is this first “key” required to start parental alienation and it is in the hand of the disfavored parent. The key is inserted into the parental alienation behavioral system, when it it comes to the attention of the alienated child. It is important to note the disfavored parent is perfectly capable of an insightful, healthy, and to be an otherwise competent caregiver for the child even after the mistake or unfortunate event that comes to light.

  • The second key. Following the perceived mistake of the disfavored parent, the alienating parent springs into action. They seek to draw attention to the mistake to the child and the child’s caregivers with blame, repetition, exaggeration and in some extreme cases, outright fabrication. The alienating parent seeks control and exert their will over the disfavored parent through the remaining tie that binds, the alienated child.

In the most severe cases, which scholars have characterized as emotional child abuse “in all cases” the alienating parent will exaggerate, lie, manufacture, and mythologize the disfavored parent’s turn of events. The alienating parent’s view is the view freely shared with the alienated child and the child’s caregivers. The result is that rather than offering the child a reasonable platitude, alternate explanation, or reasonable and healthy invitation to process and move past whatever painful reality emerged, the alienating parent cannot stop. The campaign of reminders, painful distortions, and attempts to cast the other parent in a minimizing and negative light might be coupled with the alienating parent presenting themselves as the defender of the child. What should not have come to the child’s attention in the first place or what might have been quickly processed, is captured, exploited and weaponized by the alienating parent, causing the child great emotional distress.

With the second key of parental alienation now firmly in the hand of the alienating parent, it is inserted into the parental alienation engine, and the alienating parent exploits any unfortunate turn of events to further chip away, estrange, and damage the parent child-relationship. Here now we have a child, who presumably loves both parents and is emotionally abused because the child is now in a loyalty bind, forced to choose between the love for their and trust of both parent which may cause the child to adapt to these negative stressors by engaging in self-destructive emotional and physical self-defense tactics.

What can be done?

The Texas Family law court has substantial judicial remedies at her disposal that can be used to stop the parental alienation engine and prevent an alienating parent from additional damage to the child and disfavored family. Appreciating and taking responsibility that both parent’s behaviors are at play in Parental Alienation is an important insight and starting point for reversing its devastating effects.

We are here to Assist You With Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation is one of the most complex custody issues confronting parents and the Texas Family law courts. We bring together decades of experience effectively addressing the most complex family law matters, including advocating for parents who are victims of Parental Alienation or those wrongly accused of being a Parental Alienator. Contact us today to discuss your unique case.


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