Techniques of Parental Alienation: Undermining Authority

Techniques of Parental Alienation: Undermining AuthorityUnderhanded Undermining

Parental alienation is an unfortunately common aftermath of custody battles. Similar to brainwashing, techniques of parental alienation (PA) work to separate a child from his or her parent. The alienating parent often has the goal of gaining the allegiance of the child. A common technique of parental alienation (PA) is undermining authority. This elevates the alienating parent in the child’s eyes and makes it more difficult for the alienated parent to care for the child.

Undermining authority can be done through a variety of methods. Combating PA requires spotting these tactics. Let’s take a look at some techniques of parental alienation used to undermine parental authority.

Defiant Caregiving

Alienating parents will often deliberately let a child do something the other parent won’t, even if it is dangerous. This overrides the alienated parent’s authority. The alienating parent can then look more lenient and fun in the child’s eyes.

Questioning Parenting Techniques

Alienating parents will often question—and therefore challenge—the alienated parent’s parenting. Expressing disbelief over things the other parent did can dissolve the child’s respect for the alienated parent. Similarly, alienating parents often try to teach the child the alienated parent is a bad parent. Alienating parents may go so far as to insinuate the other parent is being abusive to the child.

Cut Down the Alienated Parent

Alienating parents often try to cut down the other parent in front of the child. They may berate the parent or bad mouth the other parent. They may even tell the child they don’t have to listen to the other parent. These methods work to paint a negative picture of the other parent in the child’s mind. The child may come to disrespect the other parent and think less of him or her.


Lying is perhaps one of the more destructive techniques of undermining authority because it can confuse a child. Repeated lies can erode a child’s sense of reality. This can make reunification therapy more challenging.

These are just a few techniques of parental alienation. Collectively, they can undermine your authority. If your child is a victim of parental alienation, you should speak with an experienced child custody attorney. You should learn how to protect your child from the alienating parent. A New Jersey custody attorney who is an authority on parental alienation can explain how PA can affect your child. From there, you can discuss what you can do to mitigate those effects. What may seem like disrespect against you can actually harm your child more than you know. Therefore, it’s imperative to explore your options for protecting your relationship with your child.

If you need child custody guidance in New Jersey, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced child custody attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can help you protect your rights as a parent. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.




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