"The term parental alienation refers to psychological manipulation of a child, by saying and doing things that lead the child to look unfavorably on one parent or the other. In essence, parental alienation amounts to brainwashing the child, and it can be done both consciously and unconsciously."
LegalDictionary.net, January 8, 2017
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Since it is the parent child-relationship that orients a child’s understanding of their own sense of self and their lovability, teaching a child that one of their parents does not love them also teaches them that they are, in some basic way, unlovable, or not worthy of love.
While alienated children typically describe hatred or fear of the alienated parent, gently probing into the nuances of these negative feelings virtually always reveals that these children believe that the alienated parent (commonly known as the target parent) is self-centered, not interested in their well-being, and unloving. They are taught, and come to believe, that they are not loved by that parent.
This is absolutely child abuse in its most pure form. Parental Alienation is child abuse.
Therefore, it is not surprising to realize that parents who perpetrate this form abuse are also prone to other forms of abuse. Research indicates that those prone to domestic violence are prone to multiple forms of domestic violence. As we see an increased tendency for truly abusive parents to misuse the diagnosis of Parental Alienation to explain why their children may not be close to them, or may be reticent to visit with them after marital separation, it should not be surprising to then see that when these parents are successful in portraying the target parent as being the alienating parent they themselves become the true alienating parent.
Adults prone to domestic violence, tend to be prone to multiple expressions of abuse.
Once these abusive parents have their children more in their control that they ever had before, these children become extremely vulnerable to becoming quickly alienated from the parent to whom they used to look for protection. In this scenario, these children often become severely alienated very quickly. This is an ever-increasing phenomenon.
Dr. J. Michael Bone
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