Children may not get to see one of their parents for a long time and there can be a wide variety of reasons for this however they can broadly be characterised as either Estranged or Alienated.
For a wide number of reasons the absent parent has lost contact with the child. Some of these include:
-separated during a war;
-absent parent didn't want to be a parent;
-absent parent didn't want to be part of a system that penalises a parent for being the non-custodial parent, ie harassed with restraining orders if the the custodial parent gets angry with them, harassed for extra money of the custodial parent feels the gifts to the child are expensive, harassed for extra money if the custodial parent notices the other parent has a girlfriend/boyfriend, nice clothing or anything they deem to be a luxury (the custodial parent may or may not have done things to contribute to these concerns).
With Estranged children, both the custodial parent and child genuinely want the child to have contact with the absent parent. The absent parent will not want to have contact with the child however they can sometimes be persuaded to do so. When the child does contact the absent parent they show them love and respect and call them a respectful name such as mum or dad.
PSYCHOLOGICALLY ABUSED CHILDREN
The custodial parent has purposefully cut the other parent out of the child’s life. The child will seem to have an immensely strong loyal bonding to the aligned parent who they will feel have been a victim of the targeted parent. They will often be trying to proctect the aligned parent from the cruel outside world. The child's psychological processes will have been turned into scrambled eggs and will be thinking the rejected parent abandoned me. To them the story of what happened makes perfect sense. If outside people question them about their story it will quickly become apparent the story does not make sense.
If the issue arises in front of other people, the Aligned parent presents as wanting the child to connect with the Targeted parent however due to the powerful control over the child's mind the child knows they must reject the non custodial parent. They are often very disrespectful to the rejected parent. The child will sometimes tell other people they do want to reconnect with the rejected parent 'soon' however this is an excuse to postpone connecting with the rejected parent indefinately.
Identifying suspected psychologically abused children by outsiders is relatively easy. The presence of any one of the following red flags is a concerning indicator that the person is likely affected by this pathology.
The affected person was raised with little or no contact with one parent and their extended family such as grandparents.
The lack of contact with one parent is so extreme to the point they do not even have any contact with them on Mothers day or Fathers day or send them gifts or card for this day.
The affected person does not call the rejected parent a parent respectful term like mum or dad.
Involvement of the family court when they were children over child contact or custody perhaps for years.
Diagnosis can only be done by an appropriately trained mental health practitioner using specific psychological criteria.