We had a long talk with a friend of ours the other day, who reminded us of the situation her brother went through. He was married and had two children. When he and his wife divorced, the children were teenagers. Prior to the divorce, the children had a close, loving relationship with their father.
After the divorce, however, the children completely cut their father out of their lives. They also had no relationship with their paternal family. This went on for several years ….. until the father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
When the “children” (who are adults by now) learned of their father’s condition, they rallied around him. He only survived a very short time. After he passed away, the children, as well as their mother, were at the funeral services, standing by their father’s coffin.
The young lady who their father had been engaged to, and living with; however, was not welcome at the service and was not in attendance.
Shortly after the funeral, the children went to their father’s home and took all of his personal belongings, even those which had been purchased by their father’s fiance.
And shortly thereafter, the children ended their relationship with their paternal family — again.
Our friend said: “who disowns their own grandmother?” Alienated children, that’s who. They were in their father’s life long enough to benefit from his death, but now want nothing more to do with his family — their own grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins.
And I’m sure, in the mind of an alienated child, this is acceptable — and normal — behavior.
That is what is so frightening about Parental Alienation: the children think their behavior is natural and ordinary.
Is it typical for a person to disown half of their family? When you’ve been raised by an alienating parent, unfortunately, the answer is yes.
Sometimes I just love what I do, I mean I really really love what I do.
This has been one of those weeks when the lights have come on more than once and it is a joy, an absolute privilege to witness and see it happen, all over again.
The lights in the eyes of alienated children are dim, anyone who knows such a child will recognise it, there is no-one home, unless they are with the preferred parent that is, then the lights reflect back in continuous loops, in the relationship that the child is having with that parent.
So many parents do not know that what they are doing in their relationship with their child is causing the very behaviours that seem to arise mysteriously. And yet they are. Little wonder so many deny it, project it, see it everywhere else but inside of themselves, the feedback…
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Alienation is a Human Tragedy
Our grandchildren do not deserve this. It is not their fault.
“I can think of few examples in the field of family problems in which one category of persons is free to inflict misery on another effortlessly and without social sanction.” Marilyn Daniels, PhD.
The dynamics of a family can be torn apart by selfish choices made by adult children. This can cause a separation in the family that separate grandchildren from grandparents. It is a damage that can take years to repair, and sometimes never gets repaired.
Finally, there is AGA, is a safe place where discussions can happen about intergenerational family dynamics, support, and direction shared. AGA aims to help our aging population.
Grandparents are an intricate part of raising and loving unconditionally our young ones, and preparing them for society. They can perform as outstanding role models, especially if there is chaos in their home. Unhealthy minds in a family create chaos. Healthy minds want to fix things, unhealthy minds do not.
Grandparents provide a balance in grandchildren’s lives that no one else can replicate. Studies have shown that multi-generational contact between children and their grandparents provides a special unconditional love and nurturing which is healthy for children. The quality of attachment is very strong, and contributes to our grandchildren’s sense of self.
[Source: Alienated Grandparents Anonymous (AGA), Inc.]
At any one time I am working with around ten children who are resisting or rejecting a relationship with a once loved parent. That adds up to a lot of children and gives me a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the reactions I see in them both with each other and with the evidence base which has been built up by other experts around the world. At all times as we work at the Family Separation Clinic , we are finessing the assessment process we have developed to ensure that it meets the needs of the different families we work with. Comparisons between families and between children’s reactions are a strong element of how we continue to build our evidence base for successful intervention in these cases.
This week I have been comparing and contrasting a group of children in the age group 8-12 which is the group most likely to…
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Letting go may be the last and best thing you can do for your alienated children. Letting go is not about making your alienated children comfortable nor validating their unreasonable and irrational behaviour toward you.
At some point, you and your alienated children have to stop being victims.
Letting go is about affirming that both you and your alienated children are making a decision for which each of you must assume responsibility and accept its consequences. Until now, your children have not experienced any consequences for their behaviour toward you. Letting go lets them know that they are choosing this outcome and therefore they also have the choice to choose differently. This is the example that you are setting. There is plenty of research now that demonstrates that sometimes the one thing that helps alcohol and drug dependent people, people trapped in cults and others enduring self- destructive behaviours is…
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When we reached 10,000 views — which passed by so quickly we didn’t even get a chance to comment on the milestone — we wanted to write and let you all know how much we hope this blog in some small way, shape or form helps those out there dealing with parental alienation, grandparents who are victims of “grandparent” alienation or step-parents who find themselves in difficult situations.
We’ve been through it all …….
We’re still amazed by the lengths our alienating parent will go to in order to assure the parent / child relationship between her children and her former spouse remains at an end. In our particular case, the alienating parent was successful. She “won.” Being the narcissist that she is, that should make her feel good. She’s superior as a parent and a grandparent.
But we can’t help thinking about the children and grandchildren.
How much better off would they be today if they had had a relationship with their father and grandfather? He’s a kind, loving man. But, unfortunately, he made a bad decision, when he chose to have children with one particular person. He regrets that decision, only because of the harm it has caused those children. And now we have grandchildren, who are being raised in the same environment and being taught to hate at such a young age.
Our only hope is that our story will help others. You’re not alone. Parental alienation and difficulties with step-parenting are a much-too-common occurrence in today’s society.
Our targeted parent may no longer have a relationship with his children and grandchildren, but he can feel proud that he is trying to make a difference, trying to help others in the same situation, who might learn from his choices.
He has chosen to share the story of his Journey Through Parental Alienation with the hope that it might make a difference to someone else. Whether it simply be the fact that you are not going through this alone, or whether someone can learn from the difficult lesson that he learned: Don’t wait until your children are adults because, by that point, it may be too late. Do Something Now!
Our targeted parent wants to take his Journey Through Parental Alienation and make it in to a book for his children and grandchildren to have after he is gone.
Maybe then, they’ll realize exactly what happened …… and what they missed out on?
Alienation is a strange phenomenon. Some people believe in it, some people don’t. Anyone who has ever been in a room with an alienated children will never forget it. Anyone who has been alienated will at times feel as if they cannot trust that their feet are firmly on the ground, even when they can see that they are and feel that they are. To be alienated is to live like Alice, in Wonderland, where the White Rabbit is your leader and time travels, tick tock, to the pace and speed of the person controlling it. Finding the way out of this topsy turvey world is an incredible journey at whatever age one sets out on it.
Alienation of a child causes the child to adopt coping mechanisms which rightly should be unnecessary. It also causes them to return to earlier and more primitive states of mind, such as those…
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I am an alienator. You know me well. You lived with me once and you witnessed my behavior patterns but you did not spend time studying and internalizing them. I know your behavior patterns better than you know them yourself. I know how to measure you, test you and control you. I know what your hooks are and I know that the depth of the love for your children is a weakness I can exploit. I am an emotional terrorist. I will terrify you into submission. You will do as I tell you to do, if you do not, I will take your children away.
I am an alienator, you didn’t notice that when we lived together but I began my work long before we went our separate ways. I created fissures and fractures within our family and I managed and manipulated reality…
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Posted to Huffington Post on 1.2.2016
Parental alienation is a corrosive pattern of behaviours and beliefs which are played out around a child after family separation and which eventually leads to a child either resisting a relationship with one parent or rejecting it completely. The subject area is controversial, however working with children who are alienated allows one to see at first hand that this issue is one which is serious for children and one which fits a pattern of coercive control by one parent against the other using the children.
Children do not make a choice to resist or reject a parent after separation, even though some believe that they do and that they should be supported in doing so. When children resist a relationship with a parent or reject it outright, it is most often because they are in an intolerable emotional position where their loyalty to both…
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