Dealing with Parental Alienation

Parental alienation
Soila Sindiyo  Child Trauma Therapist  Founder of The Divorce Magazine
Soila Sindiyo
Child Trauma Therapist
Founder of The Divorce Magazine

Unfortunately, during the divorce process or even after it’s all over,  a child may not only take sides but may slowly, gradually begin behaving hatefully towards one parent as a show of support for the other, usually known as the alienating parent.

Unfortunately this behaviour may not be of their choice but may be resulting from “coaching” being freely provided by the alienating parent.

I have had clients whose children have turned from the kind 5 year old they once knew to the most hate-filled 6 year old they had ever met.

But what the alienating parent seems to miss is that when their children behave this way towards their other parent, is not only hurts them to do this but it is terribly, terribly confusing.

How do I know? I’ll tell you in a minute.

Well not only do I know that, I also know that it takes a hell of a lot for a child to earnestly, honestly hate the other parent.

Why are they doing it then? Because they are being loyal to you, the alienating parent.  They don’t know any different.

They don’t have the maturity to see exactly what game you are playing…they don’t now, but they will one day, that I promise you.

The campaign of denigration you have been working on has been a good, strong and successful one. .

Each time you tell your child something horrible and negative about the other parent, each time you interfere and disrupt their relationship, your child is hurting deep down inside because you are hating on the only other parent they have.

Unfortunately however, at some point, the way you see and talk about your ex, will become the way your child sees and talks about their other parent.

So how do I know that each time they say something ghastly to the other parent it’s killing them inside?

Because I worked for several years as a Child Trauma Therapist at Victim Support Lambeth and some of the children I worked with were there as a result of the actions of one of their parents.

Dealing with Parental AlienationThe crimes included fire bombing a house while the children were inside with the real intention of killing them, a vicious attack on a mother, in front of the children, that put her in a coma and the premeditated killing of one parent by another.

The crimes that these parents had committed and put their children through were truly horrific but you know what, in the quiet of the therapy room, in the safety of those four walls, I never once met one of these children who didn’t want to see the perpetrator parent.

It was in this place that they would say that they miss them, that they would like to go visit them in prison and that they love them because, “He’s my dad.” Or “But she’s my mum.”

So as you go along your campaign of alienation, vilification and denigration, ask yourself

  • Whose agenda you’re working with?
  • What is your desired effect?
  • Are you running an agenda at the expense of your child?

And as you become successful in your crusade and war, and your child begins to resent, hate and detest the other parent, just keeping knowing that your children’s growth is not stunted and they are growing into teens, young adults and one day, they will know and learn what a disturbing game plan you had all along and they will feel ample bitterness towards you.

As Dr Phil so clearly puts it:

“Right now, you may think you’re winning because you have the children and they’re clinging on to you and he’s on the outside looking in the day will come when they will look at you and say why did I have to grow up without my daddy?”

Change your direction today.  Start dealing with parental alienation today.  If you don’t know how ask. Call me, call someone but do it for your child’s sake.

As parents, we so often say, I will do anything for my child, can you do this? Can you allow your child to have a healthy relationship with the other parent? Can you give him that? Can you allow that to happen for their own sake, health and wellbeing?


Soila is the founder of The Divorce Magazine and creator of the five-star-rated  online course – Helping Children Cope with Divorce

She is known for taking away the pain of trauma and loss in children, adolescents and their families and is the author of “When Love is Broken. A read-together book for children and parents going through divorce and separation.

Soila holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from UCL (University College London), is an accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) practitioner and a trained Family Mediator.

Soila is Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.

You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66 or via email 



photo credit: NYC13 #02 via photopin (license)


  1. Absolutely Soila, a point that’s supported by some of the research based evidence in your useful pamphlet – Why Fathers are Important.

    • I’m glad you found the pamphlet useful Sandra. Please feel free to share it as needed.

      One of our aims, here at The Divorce Magazine is to play as much a role as possible in helping parents realise why children of divorce need both parents and how they can go about achieving this vital way of life for their children.

      We have been very fortunate to have experts in the field contribute articles to this effect and will keep spreading as much information as possible.

  2. Parental alienation is something that happens often (to varying degrees) following separation or divorce. It’s something I see a lot, and as you so rightly point out Soila – it’s a ‘game plan’ that eventually backfires!

    I think that most resident parents who have their child’s best interest at heart, try to make their child feel secure about the non-resident parent. Even sometimes to the extent of protecting them from knowing about any negative aspects (that may be true) – until they are at an age when they can fully understand.

    • Thank you for your comment Sandra.

      I especially like your second paragraph as I believe that’s the way it needs to be; that we make sure the children are given the space and platform to be children and being fed negative things about their other parent, really does take part of their innocence away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Navigate Divorce with Confidence!

Don't Miss Our Expert Panel Webinar – Divorce & Finances: Strategies for a Secure Future.

Join us on Wednesday 15th May 2024 at 7 PM (GMT) for useful tools and tips from renowned specialists, Peter Marples and Chris Sweetman.

This will close in 20 seconds