What Leads Alienated Parents to Give Up on Their Children?
Awareness of myths about alienation can help parents and kids to reconnect.
Posted April 26, 2021 | Reviewed by Davia Sills
- Parental alienation occurs worldwide and can create major emotional distress for the rejected parent.
- Misunderstandings and myths about alienation can make the reconnection process between an alienated parent and child feel hopeless.
- Awareness of these myths can enable parents to keep at the reconnection process until they succeed; that's a major win for both parent and child.
How can an alienated parent reconnect with their child? How can they rebuild the former positive parent-child attachment?
The process can look dismally hopeless. Misinformation and mistaken beliefs along the way can lower the odds of success even further. This article aims to dispel several especially damaging myths, myths that can discourage parents from persisting in what can be an overwhelmingly long and painful struggle to reconnect with their lost child.
What is parental alienation?
Parental alienation refers to the phenomenon of turning a child against one of his or her parents. Usually, in these situations, a parent convinces a child or children that they should reject the other parent in order to hoard the child all to him- or herself or, alternatively, to cause emotional pain to the other parent. By convincing the child that the other parent does not love them, is harmful, and is hurtful, crazy, or otherwise a bad person, the child starts acting in a hostile manner toward the parent, increasingly resists going to the alienated parent's home for time with that parent, and eventually refuses contact with the alienated parent altogether.
A number of misunderstandings can make this process all the more unlikely to succeed. With awareness of these progress-blocking myths, however, the odds go up that the parent and child will eventually regain the loving connection that once was there.
What do parents who have been alienated experience?
As happens anytime anyone experiences a major loss, the response to alienation is likely to be confusion and anxiety, then shock, horror, and anger initially. Next come furtive attempts to look for how to get the child back. Alas, however, all too often, these efforts meet with blockages at every point.
When efforts to halt the alienation prove increasingly unsuccessfully, how do parents then respond? Desperation can be the mother of invention. Desperation, however, can also produce profound hopelessness and intense anger, both of which can result in giving up on trying to get the child back.
Meanwhile, the child suffers, though not necessarily in a way that is visible to the rejected parent. The parent who has been rejected also suffers.
What can enable a parent to keep trying until the alienation has been overcome with successful parent-child reconnecting?
In the following video, alienation expert Inbal Greenberg—a former alienated parent and current alienation therapist—explains a series of myths that all too often block parents from successfully reconnecting with their alienated child. She then explains how to overcome these misunderstandings.
Note that alienation is a global phenomenon, one that occurs in virtually every country worldwide. The video below was filmed in the Middle East, in Israel, so the language of the speaker is Hebrew—hence the English subtitles.
If you have believed that alienated children you have known, personally or professionally, genuinely hate their rejected parent, how has this video impacted your view?
If you have believed that an alienated child you have known, personally or professionally, genuinely wants the rejected parent to leave them alone, are you ready to reconsider this unfortunate myth?