What Does Parental Alienation Look Like?

To the Target Parent, child(ren)'s behaviors may include, but are not limited to:

  • rejection of the target parent

  • falsely accusing the targeted parent of abuse

  • recalling memories that never occurred 

  • reenactments of strange behaviors and/or rituals 

  • showing fear of the targeted parent for no reason

  • refusal to see the targeted parent

  • increasingly aggressive, hostile and/or abusive behavior towards the targeted parent

  • refusal to call the targeted parent "mom" or "dad"

  • calling targeted parent by new name or first name

  • increasingly secretive, deceptive, and/or lying behavior

  • targeted parent feels like an outsider around the child

  • never mentioning the alienating parent unless in terms of being a victim or in "poor health"

  • speaking in a made up or new language with siblings

  • overly emotional when targeted parent tries to make contact

  • becoming void of all emotion over extended period of time

  • increasingly acting like targeted parent "owes" child something

  • drop in child(ren)'s self-esteem

  • child(ren) become depressed and withdrawn over time

  • phone calls from targeted parent to child are interrupted, cut off, or not allowed at all

  • all communication suddenly cut off with targeted parent with little or no warning (phone number disconnected, etc.)


To Police, Social Workers, Therapists, Counselors, and Mental Health Professionals:

  • child(ren) emphatically refuses to see or states they are afraid to see targeted parent with no clear reasons as to why (gives only generalized answers and never specifies the reason why)

  • child(ren) are overly emotional, hysterical, or angry, towards the targeted parent

  • alienating parent does most, if not all of the talking to professionals and guides the child during interviews and counseling sessions

  • multiple well-child checks by law enforcement to the home

  • all children apparently recite the same story/script when interviewed

  • repetitive issues; for instance, issues revolve around food or money, something the alienating parent is angry about

  • child(ren) will continue to lie in order to please the alienating parent

  • the more intense the alienation occurring, the more intense the allegations

  • alienating parent insists they are present for all interviews with the child(ren) and will not let the child(ren) be interviewed without them

  • routine calls from alienating parent to police requesting police show up at pickup/drop off.