Parental Alienation is a form of child abuse

“The devastating effects of parental alienation syndrome are multi-dimensional and the consequences for PAS affected children reach far beyond their immature and short sighted understanding of their relationships and existence. Sadly, these children have been unwittingly betrayed and victimized by a parent whom they love and upon whom they depend. When parental alienation syndrome takes hold, children affected by parental alienation syndrome come to understand that their own self worth and needs are meaningless. This message becomes implicitely and subconsiously imprinted when the one person responsible for nurturing them (their alienating parent) is the one who is also responsible for robbing them of their sense of self, their heritage and the love of the other parent. An important subtheme to this message is that PAS affected children also come to understand that the love and obedience they have for one parent is dependent upon their rejection and vilification of the other parent.

It must be understood that parental alienation is a form of child abuse. While at this time, most cases of parental alienation syndrome are not associated with many accounts of physical abuse, emotional abuse is prevalent and most predominant. Because the alienating parent is usually very adept at displaying what appears to be loving and nurturing conduct, parental alienation syndrome can be characterized as well as “BOND ABUSE”. By that I mean, the alienating parent uses qualities of nurturing to feed and sustain the relationship between the alienating parent and child but also to destroy the relationship between the child and the other parent (targeted parent).”

[Source:  Dr. Reena Sommer]

A refreshing change …. parents who put their children first

We had the opportunity to spend some time with a parent who was spending her first Christmas apart from her children, because the children were spending the holiday with their father.  My husband and I were both listening to this woman stress the importance of her children’s relationship with their other parent — and were in awe at her strength and unselfish behavior.

Is she unhappy that her marriage ended?  Yes.  Does she harbor some animosity toward her ex-husband?  Yes.  Does she allow that unhappiness and animosity to affect her children’s relationship with their other parent?  No.

That is the true sign of a good parent who loves her children.  Anyway can talk about being a good parent, but when it comes right down to it — and you have to decide to put your own feelings of jealousy, hatred and anger aside, how many can really do that?

It was such a refreshing change to spend some time with this wonderful mother.  She is truly a good parent, in every sense of the word.

It’s a Soul Crime

A Look at Parent Alienation Syndrome
By: Marion Trent

Divorce rates are climbing. Families are falling apart. Husbands are walking away from their responsibilities without blinking an eye. Mothers are killing their children without remorse. Ex-spouses are alienating sons and daughters from the other parent.

Sociopathy is a “personality disorder” and is characterized by a conspicuous disregard for the rights and needs of others. In the context of a familial environment this could very well begin with a perpetrator parent, who enjoys alienating a child from the victimized parent and is therefore engaging in the psychopathic style, or they could very well be a full-blown psychopath.

In broad strokes, let’s assume a child is being alienated from the other parent and the child is required to be loyal to only one parent. The child will create false memories to secure the love of the perpetrator, since the other parent is “bad”.

The child being stripped of their moral right to show love and compassion toward the alienated parent, will undoubtedly eventually create the sociopathic style in their own relationships and may even become a full-blown sociopath. Many psychological problems will follow the child through adolescence and beyond. And many times, the perpetrator parent could care less about their child’s psychological development. It could very well be that the perpetrator is mimicking the relationship style they witnessed growing up, and might not be a true sociopath. Either way, whether or not the perpetrator parent is a true sociopath or is operating in the Sociopathic Style is irrelevant, because in the long run, it is just as damaging for the child. The child is forced to hate the other parent, when the child should be taught to love both parents equally.

Parental Alienation Syndrome is running rampant. When engaging in PAS, parents are definitely creating the Sociopathic Style in their children. Many of the perpetrators seem to be living a normal life, but underneath is a very undeveloped and emotionally stunted individual. Therefore, they may hide behind religious convictions without any regard for the child’s psychological needs. Children are being brainwashed, or told of relationship problems that existed in the marriage. It is a grievous act against children to dump such information on them, but it is not a punishable crime and therefore the perpetrator gets away with it. Is it not this behavior that perpetuates sociopathy in our entire societies? The first step is to recognize the immense pain and suffering caused by parents who use have no conscience about “telling all” to kids who are powerless, and learn to fear and hate the other parent.

I know children must be protected from severe abuse and neglect. I am not writing about the obvious. I am writing about using children as pawns to get back at the other parent. It’s a soul crime.

All parents make mistakes and if they make amends and they are good people, they should not be alienated from their children. There is way too much of this going on in our world today!

[Source: ]

Return To Sender

In February, 2008, we mailed my husband’s granddaughter a birthday card for her 7th birthday.  Her mother refused to allow the child to have the card (and gift that was included), marked it Return to Sender and mailed it back to her father.

Return to Sender

My stepdaughter was angry at her father and I and so, of course, her first reaction was:  you’re not allowed to see your grandchildren.  This had happened many times before in this child’s short, six-year-life.  And considering this is how my stepdaughter was raised, it was really no surprise to anyone.  She was taught:  if you’re angry or upset, retaliate by hurting the person who made you angry or upset in the best way you know how.  And what’s the best way to hurt a father or grandfather?  By keeping his children and grandchildren from him.

Since February, 2008, we’ve gotten birthday cards and Christmas cards for my husband’s granddaughter and kept them here at our house, along with the gifts we would normally give her.  Maybe one day we’ll be permitted to speak with her and can give her the years’ worth of cards and gifts.

There’s always hope, isn’t there?

Recovering the Football:  Deion Sanders’ ex wife jailed…

It’s good to see a Court system which understands the importance of children spending time with both parents.

Honor Dads

Recovering the Football: Deion Sanders’ ex-wife jailed, loses rights to see kids

At the end of the hearing, District Judge Ray Wheless found that Pilar Sanders had violated the visitation schedule that was part of the divorce decree. He found that she failed to return the couple’s children when she was supposed to and took possession of them when she shouldn’t have. He ordered her to be jailed 30 days, but then suspended and probated that sentence for one year. Still, as part of the probation, he ordered her to serve a week in the county lockup.

Her ex-husband testified that she violated the visitation schedule at least 16 times. In one instance, he testified, she kept the children more than a week longer than the schedule allowed. He said he had to retain an attorney to get them back.

An officer with the Collin County constable’s office testified that…

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Hey, Maybe It Worked…

We had this happen so many times when my dealing with our alienating parent, so we know what this family is going through:

A Stepmother's Journey

So, in my post tootheless I explained how SD lost a tooth and I had D send a link of the video to her mom. My thought was that her mom should be seeing this and the link was an olive branch of sorts.

I think it may have worked! For now. She replied to his email with the video link, thanking him and apologizing for the mix up at Thanksgiving. This may sound small but it feels like a big deal. Why? Because she is rarely civil to him. Normally she ignores emails that he sends trying to address any issues. Or she spews venom and anger in her long, rambling, unpunctuated emails.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not counting on her to maintain the civility. We will continue to be polite and civil. The problem is, she fluctuates in her responses so much it can make your head…

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Mother Loses Custody After Preventing Father From Seeing Child

A judge recently took the “drastic step” of ordering that a girl, eight, who had lived with her mother since her parents separated when she was 13 months, instead live with her father.

Changing the child’s primary carer from the mother to the father was the only way the girl could have a meaningful relationship with both parents, Judge Evelyn Bender decided.

The mother had for years interfered with her daughter’s court-ordered time with her father, who did not see his child for months at a time.

“The mother tells (the child) that her father is going to take her away and not allow her to ever see her mother again,” Judge Bender said.

The anxious little girl had told a Court family consultant it was her dream to be able to “love Mummy and Daddy at the same time”.

Brisbane family law specialist Deborah Awyzio said it was only in extreme cases that a child was taken away from one parent and put in the care of the other.

“This is a warning that parents need to be child-focused in every parenting decision they make and not self-focused,” Ms Awyzio said.

“People think it is extreme when a child is removed from the carer they have been with, but the focus is on the child’s right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents.”

In the recent case the court heard the couple, who separated in 2007 after five years together, had been in ongoing litigation over their daughter’s living arrangements.

The court heard the mother’s unremitting campaign to undermine her child’s relationship with her father distressed the child, who loved both parents.

Judge Bender said if the girl lived with her father she would be “allowed to be a child”.

She gave the father sole responsibility for the child’s health and education and allowed the mother to spend time with the girl on alternate weeks and during holidays.

[Source: ]

Father? What Father?

Father?  What Father?  1
Parental Alienation and its Effect on Children
By Chaim Steinberger

There is no doubt that every child needs “frequent and regular” contact with both parents to develop in a psychologically healthy manner.2   A custodial parent is, therefore, obligated by law to ensure the continued relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent.3

The Appellate Division, Second Department, explained why frequent contact is needed between them: Only [with frequent contact] may a non-custodial parent provide his child with the guidance and counsel youngsters require in their formative years.  Only then may he be an available source of comfort and solace in times of his child’s need. Only then may he share in the joy of watching his offspring grow to maturity and adulthood.

. . . Indeed, so jealously do the courts guard the relationship between a non-custodial parent and his child that any interference with it by the custodial parent has been said to be “an act so inconsistent with the best interests of the children as to, per se, raise a strong probability that the [offending party] is unfit to act as custodial parent.”

. . . The decision to bear children, [moreover], entails serious obligations and among them is the duty to protect the child’s relationship with both parents even in the event of a divorce.  Hence, a custodial parent may be properly called upon to make certain sacrifices to ensure the right of the child to the benefits of visitation with the noncustodial parent. The search, therefore, is for a reasonable accommodation of the rights and needs of all concerned, with appropriate consideration given to the good faith of the parties in respecting each other’s parental rights.4

Nevertheless, a twelve-year study commissioned by the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association of over 1,000 divorces found that “parental alienation,” the programming of a child against the other parent occurs regularly, sixty percent (60%) of the time, and sporadically another twenty percent.5

1. Although alienation might be employed by either parent, because it is more likely to be employed by mothers than by fathers, [see Clawar & Rivlin, Id., Ch. VII, (The Female Factor: Why Women Programme More Than Men)], and because mothers are more likely to obtain custody than fathers (see Brandes, 4 Law and the Family New York §§ 1:2 and 1:3), for ease of reading, this article will at times refer to the target parent in the masculine gender and the alienating parent in the feminine.
2. Daghir v. Daghir, 82 A.D.2d 191, 193 (2d Dep’t, 1981), aff’d, 56 N.Y.2d 938 (1982).
3. Id., 82 A.D.2d at 195.
4. Id., 82 A.D.2d at 193–195 (citations omitted).
5. Stanley S. Clawar & Brynne V. Rivlin, Children Held Hostage:
Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children, American Bar
Association Section of Family Law (1991), Table 17 at 180.

High Road to Family Reunification

Dr. Childress’ thoughts on treatment of attachment-based model of “parental alienation”

Dr. Craig Childress: Attachment Based "Parental Alienation" (AB-PA)

My blog posts have been somewhat quiet recently because I’ve been focused on writing a book regarding the Theory and Diagnosis of an Attachment-Based Model of “Parental Alienation,” and I had to prepare for my recent Master Series seminar through California Southern University regarding the Diagnosis and Treatment of Attachment-Based Parental Alienation.” I was also focused on a Court case in Hawaii that was operating under time pressures.  This case was referred to me through Ms. Dorcy Pruter, a co-parenting and reunification coach at the Conscious Co-Parenting Institute (

The Court case had a successful outcome for the targeted-rejected parent, and Ms. Pruter is now handling the mother-daughter reunification process.

I have been aware of Ms. Pruter’s work in this area for a while, but through our work together on this case I have had the opportunity to review Ms. Pruter’s reunification protocol and have also been able to…

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Wishing an alienated child all the best that life has to offer.

We just heard the good news that my stepdaughter is going to be released from jail early. While we have not spoken to her for years, we do wish her all the best. Hopefully her incarceration was a learning experience and, as she stated at her sentencing hearing, she has learned to make better decisions in her life.

One of her past decisions was to keep her children from their grandfather. Was that a good decision? Would those children have been better off, while their mother was in jail, if their grandfather was in their lives? Is it too late to heal the relationship between father and daughter?

Irregardless of her answers to these questions, we do hope that the new year brings peace and happiness to her family. There are three innocent children who do not know their own grandfather, and then had to endure being separated from their mother while she served time in jail. Hoping all the best for those young people as they journey through life.

Life is difficult enough without having to live with poor decisions made by a parent. But then, my stepdaughter had to live with the decision her own mother made so many years ago: to alienate her children from their father.

Mirror Mirror: The Narcisisstic Alienator

Some wise words about dealing with a Narcissistic Alienator:

Karen Woodall

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all……..

The Narcissistic Alienator is a difficult character to cope with.  Difficult because when you are being alienated from your children by a Narcissist you no longer really exist in their world and character because what they are is a player in a movie all of their own making.

No-one really exists in the Narcissists world, not you, not the children and certainely not they.  What exists is merely a projection, a mask and howling black void of need which is the key driver in the world that you find yourself in.  Let me explain just briefly.

Narcissistic wounding is a complex personality problem in which the growing child has failed to receive the loving attention that builds a sense of self and a personality which is integrated.  To become whole a child must have positive reflections from the…

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