Signs of Parental Alienation

Signs of parental alienation can be easily detected if the receiving parent is properly informed and well-grounded. Parental alienation itself refers to a situation in which one parent seeks to distance a child from the other parent through manipulation, coercion, or indoctrination.

Children who have been alienated sometimes exhibit impolite, ungratefulness, malice, and icy behavior toward the targeted parent and don’t seem to experience any remorse for their harsh conduct. There is no appreciation for gifts, favors, or child support given by the targeted parent.

But that’s not all! In this article, we will discuss the various signs of parental alienation, the importance of recognizing these signs, and what can be done to address the situation. By being aware of the warning signs, parents can take steps to protect their children and maintain healthy relationships with them.

READ MORE: Parental alienation against mothers

20 signs of parental alienation

  1. Badmouthing the targeted parent
    The child begins to speak negatively about the targeted parent without any justification or evidence.
  2. Refusing to spend time with the targeted parent
    The child refuses to visit or communicate with the targeted parent.
  3. Triangulation
    The child becomes overly involved in the conflicts between the parents, often taking sides with one parent.
  4. Lack of guilt or remorse
    The child shows no guilt or remorse for hurtful behaviors towards the targeted parent. This is a known serious sign of parental alienation.
  5. False allegations
    The child makes false allegations against the targeted parent, such as abuse or neglect.
  6. Extreme loyalty
    The child shows extreme loyalty to the alienating parent, even at the expense of the relationship with the targeted parent.
  7. Dependence on the alienating parent
    The child becomes overly dependent on the alienating parent and is unwilling to be separated from them.
  8. Denial of the relationship
    The child denies or minimizes the relationship with the targeted parent.
  9. Indecision or confusion
    The child becomes indecisive or confused about their relationship with the targeted parent.
  10. Refusal to acknowledge the targeted parent’s role in their life
    The child refuses to acknowledge the targeted parent’s role in their life, such as birthdays or holidays.
  11. Loss of previously enjoyed activities
    The child loses interest in previously enjoyed activities or hobbies with the targeted parent.
  12. Disregard for the targeted parent’s feelings
    The child shows a disregard for the targeted parent’s feelings, such as ignoring their calls or messages.
  13. Fabrication of memories
    Another devastating sign of parental alienation is when the child fabricates memories of negative experiences with the targeted parent.
  14. Transferring affection
    The child transfers affection from the targeted parent to the alienating parent.
  15. Hostility toward the targeted parent
    The child becomes hostile or aggressive towards the targeted parent.
  16. Rejection of gifts or tokens of love
    The child refuses to accept gifts or tokens of love from the targeted parent.
  17. Mental health problems
    The child experiences mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or anger, related to the relationship with the targeted parent.
  18. Dependence on the alienating parent’s narrative
    The child becomes overly dependent on the alienating parent’s narrative and is unwilling to consider alternative perspectives.
  19. Manipulation
    When the child manipulates or lies to the targeted parent to maintain allegiance with the alienating parent, know this as one of the signs of parental alienation
  20. Changes in behavior or personality
    The child experiences changes in behavior or personality, such as becoming isolated or withdrawn.

These signs if recognized should be handled in a timely manner so they don’t have a more devastating effect on the child.

READ MORE: Parental alienation against fathers

These are the top common Signs of Parental Alienation. Keep in mind that not all of these signs may be present in every case and that each situation is unique. However, recognizing these signs can help identify [arental alienation and take steps to address the situation.

Importance of recognizing the signs of parental alienation

The importance of recognizing the signs of Parental Alienation cannot be overstated. Early recognition of Parental Alienation allows parents to take proactive steps to protect their children and prevent further harm. Some of the key reasons why recognizing the signs of Parental Alienation is crucial include:

  1. Protecting the child: By recognizing the signs of parental alienation, parents can take steps to protect their children from further emotional harm.
  2. Preventing long-term harm to the child-parent relationship: Parental Alienation can cause significant harm to the child-parent relationship and can make it difficult or even impossible for the child to develop a healthy relationship with the targeted parent in the future. Recognizing the signs early on can help prevent this long-term harm.
  3. Addressing the issue early on: The earlier Parental Alienation is recognized, the easier it is to address and prevent further harm. Early recognition also allows for a more effective resolution to the situation, which is crucial for the well-being of the child and both parents.
  4. Seeking appropriate help: Recognizing the signs of Parental alienation is the first step in seeking appropriate help, such as therapy or legal assistance, to address the situation.

What to do to address brainwashing

Once the signs of parental alienation have been recognized, it is important to take action to address the situation. Here are some steps that can be taken:

  1. Seek Legal Assistance: In cases of legal parental alienation, seeking the assistance of a family law attorney can help to protect the rights of the targeted parent and address the situation in court.
  2. Therapy: Participating in therapy with a mental health professional can help the child, targeted parent, and alienating parent to understand and address the underlying issues contributing to the alienation.
  3. Parenting Coordination: A parenting coordinator can be appointed to help the parents work through the alienation and facilitate communication and co-parenting.
  4. Mediation: Mediation can be used to address the conflict between the parents and work towards a resolution that is in the best interests of the child.
  5. Reunification Therapy: Reunification therapy is a type of therapy specifically designed to help the child and targeted parent reconnect and rebuild their relationship.
  6. Support Groups: Joining a support group for parents who have experienced parental alienation can provide the targeted parent with emotional support and resources to help address the situation.
  7. Awareness and Education: Raising awareness and educating the public about the harmful effects of parental alienation is an important step in preventing it from occurring in the first place.


Recognizing the signs of parental alienation is crucial in order to take timely action to address the situation and protect the best interests of the child. With determination and the right support, it is possible to overcome the challenges and restore the relationship between the child and the targeted parent.


Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly

As a proud single mom who has seen it all, I encourage others by sharing my experiences & curating content on divorce, adoption, child & spousal support. My passion also includes spending quality time with my kids and giving back to my community.

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