Symptoms of Parental Alienation:
Copyright 1997 by Douglas Darnall, Ph.D
1. Giving children choices when they have no choice about visits. Allowing the child to decide for themselves to visit when the court order says there is no choice sets up the child for conflict. The child will usually blame the non-residential parent for not being able to decide to choose whether or not to visit. The parent is now victimized regardless of what happens; not being able to see his children or if he sees them, the children are angry.
2. Telling the child “everything” about the marital relationship or reasons for the divorce is alienating. The parent usually argues that they are “just wanting to be honest” with their children. This practice is destructive and painful for the child. The alienating parent’s motive is for the child to think less of the other parent.
3. Refusing to acknowledge that children have property and may want to transport their possessions between residences.
4. Resisting or refusing to cooperate by not allowing the other parent access to school or medical records and schedules of extracurricular activities.
5. A parent blaming the other parent for financial problems, breaking up the family, changes in lifestyle, or having a girlfriend/boyfriend, etc.
6. Refusing to be flexible with the visitation schedule in order to respond to the child’s needs. The alienating parent may also schedule the children in so many activities that the other parent is never given the time to visit. Of course, when the targeted parent protests, they are described as not caring and selfish.
7. Assuming that if a parent had been physically abusive with the other parent, it follows that the parent will assault the child. This assumption is not always true.
8. Asking the child to choose one parent over another parent causes the child considerable distress. Typically, they do not want to reject a parent, but instead want to avoid the issue. The child, not the parent, should initiate any suggestion for change of residence.
9. Children will become angry with a parent. This is normal, particularly if the parent disciplines or has to say “no”. If for any reason the anger is not allowed to heal, you can suspect parental alienation. Trust your own experience as a parent. Children will forgive and want to be forgiven if given a chance. Be very suspicious when the child calmly says they cannot remember any happy times with you or say anything they like about you.
10. Be suspicious when a parent or stepparent raises the question about changing the child’s name or suggests an adoption.
11. When children cannot give reasons for being angry towards a parent or their reasons are very vague without any details.
13. When a parent uses a child to spy or covertly gather information for the parent’s own use, the child receives a damaging message that demeans the victimized parent.
14. Parents setting up temptations that interfere with the child’s visitation.
15. A parent suggesting or reacting with hurt or sadness to their child having a good time with the other parent will cause the child to withdraw and not communicate. They will frequently feel guilty or conflicted not knowing that it’s “okay” to have fun with their other parent.
16. The parent asking the child about his/her other parent’s personal life causes the child considerable tension and conflict. Children who are not alienated want to be loyal to both parents.
19. Listening in on the children’s phone conversation they are having with the other parent.
20. One way to cause your own alienation is making a habit of breaking promises to your children. In time, your ex-spouse will get tired of having to make excuses for you.
Above is the signs of Parental Alienation, I kept the ones that were used towards me as the Targeted parent.
Number 1: My ex-wife use to tell me that it’s Indra’s choice to visit me. Whereas I felt that it was my time with her, I wanted to spend as much time as I could with her. In order to have two-week visit in 2011, my ex-wife spend five weeks going back and forth with lawyers which only allowed me to have time. A direct flight from Charlotte to Columbus, that only I was allowed to be left alone with Indra. Thus, alienating my brother Jim and my mother from Indra. To this day Indra truly believes that my brother and mother hate her. Which is so far from the truth; they both miss her, they both love her and still can not belive what has happen to her.
Number 2: I failed to tell Indra about the divorce in July 2011, on July 19, 2011 I boarded a flight from Charlotte back to St. Louis. Not realizing that my ex-wife would use the fact I did not tell Indra about the divorce to explain that “Daddy doesn’t love mommy anymore,” Plain fact is I could not put up the rude, abusive relationship I was in with my then wife. I never wanted to hurt Indra; I wanted her to have both parents in her life as it should be. I just wanted to be happy again, be loving person I was before my ex-wife, and be able to laugh again without being yelled at. I wanted to be loved like a person wants to be loved unconditional. In end Indra was told only one side of the story.
Number 3: Indra was allowed to take somethings to my house. Indra came with my house an Ipad, and sweatpants and shirts no other nice clothing. I found this disappointing since she has a Letterman’s jacket from her middle school, but she wore her mother’s work sweaters since like Indra told me, “I like them.” so I let her wear them. I found it weird, that I was more than willing to buy Indra clothes, shoes, fix her tooth and all of it was, “No, dad.”
Number 4: I had to call the school and all places Indra went for medical care to get records and fight with them since I was NOT listed on anything. Fight for this, I found this information to be useful in court.
Number 5: My ex-wife used me as the escape goat for our marriage problems and yes money problems. Yet my ex-wife was hiding money in another country. However my new wife was blame for breaking my ex-wife and I up. Truth is the marriage was over before it started.
Number 6: Is the biggest fight for any alienated parent. I always asked for time, it was never granted by my ex-wife. She refused to give me any overnight even thou I have joint up until November 2013, when the lawyers thought it was a better that I have just visitation rather joint physical. Fight for your right as the parent of you child.
Number 7: I was mental abused by my ex-wife this also happen after the marriage my ex-wife would tell me, “Your worthless, your fat, your not her father, you wouldn’t left your family for that woman, just walk away she doesn’t need you,” are just few statement that were told to me.
Number 8: To avoid answering my questions when Indra was at my house she text her mother which then called in false police reports of abuse to the locate police. Which the police were laughing after I explain to them the situation.
Number 9: Indra has sent me emails telling me to “dig your self in hole and never come out.” The anger doesn’t stop there. I went to Charlotte to pick Indra up for a visit and she threw a fit in middle of the airport told me she HATES me for what I did. Uhm. I wonder where that came from? Mom? Grandma? Auntie? Godmothers? Friends? All these people could be saying things that your children are picking up on…. I am sure my did!
Number 10: There was not a stepfather but instead Indra dropped my last name in 2011 and hasn’t used it expect to get medical cards, passports, Swedish passport, and other legal things otherwise on a school project she just put my name as father and put “N/A” for the rest of her family. The teacher sent me an email stating, “I don’t think you will like this packet of school work, I am sorry for your situation.”
Number 11: Indra still hasn’t explain to me why she hates me or what for?
Number 13: Indra came to visit me in 2013, and took pictures with her phone of my house, everything. Meanwhile all I wanted to do was spend quality time with her when I got off of work each day. Instead it was a lot phone calls from her mom yelling at me.
Number 14: I was to Indra for summer vacation instead they went to Sweden for a month.
Number 15: Spend a day at the mall, had money put a side to buy her new clothes. She refused then got on Skype that night with her mother. Her mother and grandmother kept asking questions about everything. Indra lied to her countless times, when I chimed in to say, Indra tell them I wanted to buy you stuff you said No.
Number 16: Indra is very upset when I asked any questions which lead to false abuse reports to the police since her mother didn’t want me to get any information.
Number 19: My ex-wife would be in the background as I Spoke to Indra to tell Indra what to say, my last phone call when I tried to tell Indra the truth my ex-wife was screaming at me in the background. Since I told Indra her mom was NOT broke but actually very rich.
Number 20: I broke one promise that I made which I would never sign my rights away. This was the only one I broke. I cried after walking out of the lawyer’s office on April 11, 2016. I was heartbroken, but I could not let that woman(ex-wife) control what I have left of my life. Nor could I let my ex-wife hurt my little children under 10. Indra stated to me countless times she wanted me gone, so I left. I am still very hurt, I am trying to grow and heal from the situation.
My friends said to do a Blog, so here we are. Still very much hurt by the whole situation. I refuse to lose hope that Indra will find the truth. Don’t lose hope in your child(ren). This was the best outcome for my situation since I did not have enough money to keep fighting, I cashed everything in 2007,2008, 2009 to pay for our house.
Don’t lose time like I did, get the legal team in place, talk to everyone about parental alienation, record phone calls with your child, keep notebooks(I did this what help me since my memory sucks!), keep track of the amount money spent.