Craig Childress, PsyD says, over and over, that children do not turn away from a parent; it is counter-intuitive in the developmental process. It is not the child’s agenda to reject and when this occurs, he affirms, there is always a predator lurking. That is, regardless of how bad or sick the parent is, a child does not reject them and that in order to do so there has to be a pathological process initiated and sustained by the alienating parent. That said, with parental alienation, the destruction to the child’s development is extreme.
Parental Alienation Disrupts Healthy Attachment
In order to have a healthy sense of self, a child needs to have the world as a mirror, as a place to have their thoughts, feelings and desires validated. Essential to the development of a healthy self is attunement, that is being aware of the other-their feelings, desires-being able to be on their page and read their emotional state of being and readiness. Good attunement is a prerequisite to good attachment which is then a prerequisite for the formation of healthy relationships in life. In normal parenting it is the parent that attunes to the child-the parent connects with the inner working of the child to foster their strengths and desires and passions; with alienating parents, it is the opposite.