Parental alienation occurs when a parent poisons the relationship between the other parent and his or her children. Its effects are highly destructive on the children and the parents. Experts warn that parental alienation if left unchecked, may have a lifelong impact on a child. Also, the child’s relationship with both parents is negatively affected. This especially includes the parent perpetrating the alienation.
Parental alienation has many faces. Sometimes, alienation happens when a parent ignores the court ordered parenting schedule and schedules activities on top of the other parent’s time. The alienating parent may also try to make the other parent the bad guy if they have to cancel events.
For example, a father may have parenting time scheduled over the summer with his son. He plans to take his son to the beach. Mother, in order to make sure father and son don’t have the opportunity to spend time together on the beach, enrolls the child in a computer game programming class instead. The class is something the child wants to do and otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend.
If this sort of forced appropriation of the other parent’s time becomes a pattern, it can be classified as alienation.