Parental Alienation Part 2: The Four Factor Model

Last week’s blog was about tactics parents use to alienate their children from the other parent. This week’s blog will focus on how to show that you are a victim of parental alienation ( a rejected parent).

Amy Baker, parental alienation expert, created the four factor model to distinguish alienation from other types of problems. When you know the four factor model, it is easier to show that parental alienation is happening.

The Four Factors

  1. A prior positive relationship between the child and the now rejected parent. This means that at some point in the past your child loved you like children normally love their parents.
  2. The absence of maltreatment by the rejected parent. This means that you are not an abusive parent. Abuse by a parent may result in a child not wanting to see that parent anymore. (Although, surprisingly this is rare.) If there isn’t any abuse, though, then there is some other reason why your child no longer wants a relationship with you.
  3. The use of alienating behaviors by the favored parent. This means that the favored parent is using some or all of the 17 strategies we talked about in last week’s blog.
  4. The presence of behavioral manifestations of alienation in the child. There are 8 different behaviors that only alienated children display. Even abused children do not display these eight behaviors. Next week’s blog will look at the behaviors.

When all of these factors exist within a parent-child relationship, you have a clear case of parental alienation. To hear Amy Baker talk about her 4 factor model, watch this.

What should I do?

Document your prior positive relationship. Do you have pictures of you and your child smiling and having fun together? Or have you saved any cards or drawings your child made for you before the alienation became a problem? What about records of you going to volunteer in their classrooms? Anything you have to prove that you did have a normal parent-child relationship in the past will be important to gather.

Sometimes the alienating parent will accuse the alienated parent of abuse that never happened. Talk to people who were around like neighbors or extended family members. Ask them to write down what they remember about your relationship with the child.

Start documenting every time you see or hear your ex using one of the 17 strategies of parental alienation.

Next week’s blog will talk about the 8 behavioral manifestations of alienated kids. These will be very important to recognize and document.

Find an experienced family law attorney who understands parental alienation. They can help you navigate your heartbreaking situation and hopefully walk with you to a better outcome.

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