Parental Alienation
Resist - Refuse Dynamics

Alienation / Resist-Refuse VS. Estrangment

Parental alienation(PA) or Resist-Refuse dynamics describes a process whereby a child rejects one parent, whom the child had a positive relationship with, as a result of psychological manipulation of another parent.


In plain language, it is abuse, plain & simple and it needs to be regarded as such.


This is not to be confused with justified estrangement however.

If a parent is abusing or neglecting a child, it would stand to reason that the child would reject the parent.

However, research shows that even abused children do not typically reject the abusive parent.


It is imperative that action is taken at the first sign of alienation because it is much easier to protect a child than it is to fix an adult.


Renowned researcher, expert, author, and coach in parental alienation, Amy J.L  Baker, Ph.D provides a detailed outline of parental alienation red flags below:


Signs of PA:  Child's Behavior

1. Child engages in campaign of denigration

  • Child erases the past.

  • Has no interest in relationship with rejected parent.

2. Child has weak, frivolous, and absurd reasons for rejecting the parent.

3. Child sees one parent as all good and the other as all bad.

4. Child has no remorse for treating the rejected parent poorly.

5. Child is automatically supportive for favored parent.

6. Child makes accusations of the other parent using words/phrases adopted from the alienating parent.

  • a good indication of this is a child using words child doesn't understand and are not age appropriate.

  • child often speaks in a robotic and repetitive fashion.

  • the accusations cannot be supported with details.

7. Child claims the rejection is all his/her idea and wasn’t influenced by the favored parent.

8. Child's animosity spreads to extended family, friends and pets associated with the rejected parent.


Signs of PA:  Favored Parent's Behavior 

1. Badmouthing the other parent to the child.


2. Limiting contact the child’s contact with the other parent.

  • Dropping off or picking up child early or late.


3. Interfering with communication between the child and the other parent.

  • Throwing out gifts.

  • Not sharing child’s cell number with the other parent

  • Blocking messages from the other parent.


4. Interfering in symbolic/meaningful communication.

  • Making it difficult for the child to think of the other parent.

  • Preventing the child from talking about or looking at photos of the other parent.


5. Withdrawing love and attention from the child when the child shows interest in their other parent.


6. Telling the child, the other parent doesn’t love them.

  • Can be done through facial expressions or tone of voice

  • Doesn’t have to be explicitly stated.


7. Telling the child the other parent is unsafe.

  • Call me anytime you don’t feel safe and I will come get you.”

  • “Are you sure you feel comfortable staying with Mom/Dad?”


8. Allowing the child to choose whether to visit the other parent or not.


9. Forcing child to reject the other parent by having the child tell the other parent they don't want any contact with them.

  • "Don’t come to my games anymore, I don’t want to see you”

  • “Don’t call or text me I don’t want to talk to you.”


10. Confiding in the child as if the child was an adult friend.

  • Sharing personal and inappropriate information about the other parent.

  • Sharing or allowing the child to ‘overhear’ information about legal proceedings.


11. Asking the child to spy on the other parent.

  • This forces the child to betray the other parent’s trust.

  • THis prompts the child to avoid the other parent to prevent getting caught spying.


12. Asking the child to keep secrets from the other parent.

  • This forces the child to betray the other parent’s trust.

  • This prompts the child to avoid the other parent to prevent the other parent finding out about the secrets.


13. Referring to the other parent by his/her first name.


14. Referring to new significant other as Mom or Dad.


15. Referring to the child by a new last name.


16. Withholding information from the other parent.


17. Undermining the other parent's authority.

Contact Trish to discuss how to protect against and recover from narcissistic abuse.

If you are experiencing the warning signs above, book a consult.