Please watch and share, this is the only way to let our children know we still love them despite what they have been told!!!
By: Edward Kruk, Ph.D.
Every day I receive emails from alienated parents and extended family members distraught over the suffering of their children as well as their own grief and frustrated by their powerlessness to protect their children from the egregious form of emotional child abuse that is parental alienation. In addition, I get numerous replies to my postings on the topic of parental alienation bemoaning the lack of concrete suggestions and solutions to the problem. I struggle in being unable to offer constructive advice or suggest practical steps that parents and extended family members can take, especially in light of the widespread professional misunderstanding and seeming indifference to the plight of these parents and their children.
Like many commentators, I have only been able to offer bland platitudes in regard to concrete action steps that parents can take to fight against the alienation of their children. I reassure myself that it helps parents to have a label for what they and their children are going through and to know that they are not alone. I urge them to take the high road, and always respond with patience and loving kindness to their children. I tell them to hang in there and never give up. Yet I must admit to parents that their best efforts may well prove fruitless; the sad fact is that many, if not most, severely alienated children never reconnect with their alienated parents, and respond in a vituperative fashion to any attempts their parents take to restore the relationship.
There is no shortage of advice in the clinical literature to alienated parents, much like the largely lame responses I manage to muster in regard to never giving up. These well-meaning efforts fall short in regard to what alienated parents are seeking, which is a full restoration of the parent-child relationship. Instead they are told, “Practice smiling,” “Meditate,” “Spend time with friends and family,” “Make sure you get enough sleep,” “Help others and be of service,” “Practice gratitude,” “Plan a trip,” “Go outside and spend time in nature,” and “Get plenty of exercise.” Such self-care and stress-reduction efforts, while important, fall far short of what alienated parents most want and need.
The only effective means to combat and eliminate parental alienation is to address it by means of a multi-faceted approach that involves fundamental changes to the present system of divorce, and alienated parents and their allies would be well-advised to channel their energies in this direction. This article is a call to action, involving four essential steps to address the problem of parental alienation. All other efforts will produce only superficial or short-term results.
Step 1: Professional recognition of parental alienation as a serious form of child abuse, and corresponding intervention of child protection authorities
Parental alienation is a form of individual child abuse, the result of actions by an individual caregiver that represent a significant form of harm to children. Parental alienation as a serious form of emotional child abuse, which is linked to child neglect and to physical and sexual abuse, clearly makes it, above all else, a child protection concern. First and foremost, we need to recognize parental alienation as a form of individual child abuse that requires a child protection response, no different than physical and sexual abuse. This may involve child removal from the abusive parent or, in most cases, family support services aimed at educating the parent about the effects and unacceptability of alienation and effecting a reunification process between the child and the targeted parent.
Step 2: Fundamental reform of the family law system, and establishing shared parenting as the foundation of family law
Parental alienation is also a form of collective child abuse; that is, alienation flourishes within legal structures that remove a parent from a child’s life by means of primary residence orders in disputed cases. Adversarial “winner-take-all” systems force parents to denigrate each other to prove that they are the superior parent and more worthy of being granted primary caregiver status, in effect engaging in alienating behaviors and the system thereby encourages and produces alienating behavior.
Shared parenting as the foundation of family law is a bulwark against parental alienation. Specifically, a legal presumption of shared parenting, rebuttable in cases of substantiated child abuse and domestic violence, is needed to prevent parental alienation from occurring in the first place.
Step 3: Provision of effective treatment programs and services by trained service providers, including reunification services and prevention programs
Clearly, changes to the child protection and family law systems are in themselves insufficient. The provision of effective treatment services by trained service providers, including reunification services and preventions programs, is vital to restoring the relationship between children and targeted parents. Reunification efforts should be undertaken with service providers with specialized expertise in parental alienation reunification. Further, the trauma of alienation is severe, and therapeutic services to individual victims of alienation are urgently needed.
The Australian “Family Relationship Center” model may offer a useful approach toward the provision of treatment and prevention programs in the arena of parental alienation. These government-supported centers are accessible to parents across the country, provide core services free of charge and others on a sliding fee scale. Families can access information and advice on building and strengthening relationships, early intervention and prevention services, child-friendly services for families in conflict, family mediation and conflict resolution services, development of co-parenting plans, re-partnering and stepfamily arrangements, and information and referral to more specialized services. The centers encourage separating parents to maintain a strong focus on the needs of their children for both parents in their lives. They offer individual, family and group sessions to assist separating families to create workable parenting arrangements for their children, as well as information sessions and workshops on a range of practical topics to assist families.
Step 4: Effective legal enforcement of shared parenting orders, and legal consequences for parents who withhold children from the other parent
Again, changes to the child protection and family law systems, as well as the availability of effective treatment programs, are in themselves insufficient. Legal sanction of shared parenting must include meaningful consequences for failure to comply with shared parenting orders. Law enforcement is needed to ensure compliance, as well as consequences for engaging in parental alienating behaviors.
Enforcement is perhaps the most contentious step, as markedly different approaches have been suggested by professionals, ranging from incarceration to custody reversal to family therapy to leaving the situation alone. Some argue that continued exposure to the alienating parent will be counterproductive to reunification methods; others suggest that using alienation from a parent to punish or deter alienation seems counter-intuitive. However, the most recent research indicates that therapeutic interventions are most effective when there are strong legal sanctions for non-compliance with shared parenting orders, and there is an emerging consensus among alienation specialists that awarding primary parental responsibility to the targeted parent when parental alienation is severe is an important step in ameliorating parental alienation.
In addition to being a form of emotional child abuse, parental alienation is a form of domestic violence directed at the targeted parent. The criminal justice system does not have a great track record on behalf of abused parents generally but to date, it has had virtually no role to play in dealing with parental alienation as a form of domestic violence and it should.
In sum, the challenges of finding constructive and effective solutions to the problem of parental alienation are rooted in the present-day disavowal of parental alienation as a form of emotional child abuse and domestic violence among both mental healthpractitioners and legal bodies.
Thus, the key to combatting and eliminating parental alienation is the implementation of a multi-faceted approach that involves fundamental changes to the present system of divorce, and alienated parents and their allies would be well-advised to channel their energies in this direction. The four-step approach suggested here—professional recognition of parental alienation as a serious form of child abuse, and corresponding intervention of child protection authorities; fundamental reform of the family law system, and establishing shared parenting as the foundation of family law; provision of effective treatment programs and services by trained service providers, including reunification services and prevention programs; and effective legal enforcement of shared parenting orders, and legal consequences for parents who withhold children from the other parent—provides a framework in that regard and represents a call to action for alienated parents and their allies.
The Narcissistic Personality Disordered Parent
Young children of a mother or father who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder are genuine victims of their parent and the disorder—as much as any child who lives through life with an addicted parent, or one guilty of physical or sexual abuse. The narcissistic parent abuses in an intensely subtle and devious fashion: they are guilty of severe emotional and mental abuse, and no one outside of the family would ever suspect anything wrong. These child victims quite often go unnoticed, untreated, and unassisted by other adults outside of the immediate family. This is due to the nature of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
The overriding behavioral sign of a NPD parent is their almost total lack of concern for their child. On the surface, and in public, the NPD parent is often unnoticeable as an abusive person. Inside the family, there is no doubt for the child that there is something…
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No, it’s not a romantic sequel, but actress Drew Barrymore did reunite with her ex-husband, Will Kopelman, for the holiday weekend.
The exes spent time with their daughters, Olive, 5, and Frankie, 3, for a Christmas holiday to remember in Idaho.
“Yay successful Xmas morning,” Barrymore captioned an Instagram pic of herself and Kopelman enjoying a corn dog and drinks at a brewpub.
Barrymore, 42, continued to chronicle the family’s adventures skating and skiing over the weekend on social media.
Barrymore closed out her family’s memorable Christmas weekend with an Instagram pic of herself and her daughters. The caption read, “Merry Christmas 2017… 2018 you better watch yourself!”
This was the latest shared co-parenting adventure for Barrymore and Kopelman, who ended their four-year marriage in 2016. The actress periodically posts photos of herself with Kopelman on Instagram, including one in honor of Father’s Day earlier this year.
“Sadly our family is separating legally, although we do not feel this takes away from us being a family,” the actress and the art consultant said when they announced their split in a joint statement in April of 2016.
“Divorce might make one feel like a failure, but eventually you start to find grace in the idea that life goes on. Our children are our universe, and we look forward to living the rest of our lives with them as the first priority.”
Some content on this page was disabled on March 14, 2018 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from WiredForHappy, Inc.. You can learn more about the DMCA here:
Raising your kids after divorce isn’t easy. You constantly worry about how the split will affect them in the long run — and let’s face it, interacting with your ex in the name of co-parenting isn’t always a walk in the park.
Still, if you strive to put your kids first, divorce can absolutely be an opportunity to be a better parent than you were before your marriage ended. HuffPost asked their Twitter and Facebook followers to share what they believe is the best thing you can do for your kids after divorce.
See 18 of their favorite responses below.
1. “Don’t talk badly about the other parent. Modeling good behavior by getting along with your ex is really critical to the kids’ stability.
2. “Be consistent in everything you do. Be dependable, reliable and make them laugh. Often.”
3. “Remember this: Genetically, your kids are 50 percent your ex. Every negative thing you say about him or her, you’re saying about the kids, too.”
4. “Be honest with your kids in an age-appropriate way.”
5. “This is a good time to be a smotherer. Smother them with love and support and remind them that the divorce has nothing to do with them and that ultimately, it will be for the best.”
6. “Get a therapist for the kids during the divorce, not after. We did so and my kids really benefitted from having someone removed from the situation to talk to about their feelings. She encouraged them to open up and helped us sidestep a lot of serious issues.”
7. “Act like adults.”
8. “Understand that some situations don’t lend themselves to co-parenting. Consider alternatives like parallel parenting. Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean that your spouse has changed.”
9. “Allow your kids equal time with both parents. They deserve it.”
10. “Don’t blindly follow advice from books on post-divorce parenting. The best way to comfort your kids is to go off what you’re sensing from them, not what some self-help author told you to do.”
11. “Be empathetic about the grief they are experiencing. Encourage them to talk and don’t judge their feelings.”
12. “Put their needs first, even before your own. Everything you do should be done in their best interest and nothing you do should be done without asking how your choices will affect them.”
13. “Try your hardest to co-parent. Be there for your ex so you two can support your kids as a team. It’s no longer about the adults so put any animosity aside and do what is in the best interest of your children.”
14. “Realize how futile it is to trash-talk your ex sooner rather than later. The kids will determine the merits and minuses of each parent on their own.”
15. “If you’re allowing the kids to choose who they live with, don’t make them feel guiltyabout their choice.”
16. “Keep in mind: They’re the innocent victims in the situation. Treat them accordingly.”
17. “Never use your kids as a weapon, a go-between or a spy against your ex. And never talk negatively about the other parent near them or anywhere they can hear or see it (hint hint: Facebook).”
18. “Love your kids more than you hate your ex.“
Divorce ends the marriage. It does not end the family. When there is a child there will always be a family. Divorce involves the transition of the family from an intact family structure united by the marital bond, to a separated family structure united by the parent-child bonds. If you are a mental health professional […]
We quoted some potent statistics in the article we chose to herald in the New Year. The statistics came from a variety of reputable sources, but when compiled in one place they present the stark reality of parental alienation in the UK alone: 1 million children alienated from the non-resident parent (at least) 97% of […]
Please sign, and share, the Petition to the American Psychological Association: Ending the Pathology of “Parental Alienation” for All Children Everywhere:
The Family Separation Clinic regards the problem of alienation in a child as one which is caused by many factors and one which is a spectrum experience. This means that the alienation response in the child ranges from mild to severe and that the psychologically split state of mind which underpins alienation can range from sporadic to permanently seen.
In assessing the presence of the alienation reaction in the child we use a wide range of tools to evaluate, including the presence of coercive control. Where we suspect pure alienation (the child is captured in a dynamic caused by a psychologically unwell parent), we seek evaluation for personality disorder and in some cases where it is observed, for encapsulated delusion in parent and child.
Our focus however is always the child because we know that the psychologically split state of mind is caused not simply by psychologically unwell parents but…
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Psychology Today has narrowed down the reasons people with psychological issues lie to the following:
- They lie for popularity: simply put, these people want attention and do believe that their regular selves are not good enough. They create stories and events where they are admirable heroes or, alternatively, situations where they are horribly victimized. Either way, the attention they get, the sympathy or the admiration, fuel them for more.
- They lie to control: these people manipulate the facts to gain psychological supremacy over others. They do it to scare them or to make them feel bad. They get a thrill out of emotionally toying with their feelings. And the more they get away with it, the more they’d want to do it.
- They lie because they are insecure: although we all do that in varying degrees, Those who constantly lie about every single detail of their lives are a different story. It would make sense if you felt bad about your bad grades and wanted to hide the fact from, say, your faraway cousins. But these people would go as far as making up a whole new life with tiny irrelevant details. It’s as if they want to be someone else.
If you’re dealing with someone with psychological issues, one of the common manifestations is pathological lying — lying all the time, and lying when there’s no logical reason to even lie. Understanding why they lie may not solve the problem, but it might make it easier to understand. They lie for attention; they lie to control and they lie because they are insecure.
On behalf of Lorandos Joshi posted in Federal Crimes on Friday, February 3, 2017.
Children of divorce are innocent bystanders and casualties of divorce. They are innocent bystanders, as one household becomes two. They face uncertainty, if not fear of the future. Their best interests should come first.
Acts of parental alienation present a direct threat to their emotional and psychological well-being. Far too many waste little time in manipulating children to take “their side.” They force children to choose one parent. They foster unease or negative feelings towards another parent. These sinister and damaging signsmust be identified and stopped.
Putting Children In The Middle
- Validating anger children feel towards a parent
- Speaking disparagingly about the other parent in the presence of children
- Blaming the other parent for financial struggles and other changes in lifestyle in front of the children
- Telling children about the details regarding the marriage failing and the divorce decree
- Requesting information from children on the other parent’s personal life
- Accusing the other parent of putting children at risk without evidence
- Knowingly making false and dangerous allegations of violence, sexual abuse, drug/alcohol abuse, and other illegal activities
- Needing to “rescue” children when no danger exists
- Forcing children to choose which parent they want to visit
- Not abiding by or reducing court-ordered or agreed upon access time and visitation
- Conversely, rigid and inflexible enforcement of visitation schedules purely out of vengeance.
- Refusing access to medical and school records and schedules of extracurricular activities
Regardless of whatever form it takes, parental alienation is an obstacle that impairs improved relationships between a divorcing couple and their children.
[Source: http://www.lorandoslaw.com ]
A Sociopath A sociopath is typically defined as someone who lies incessantly to get their way and does so with little concern for others. A sociopath is often goal-oriented (i.e., lying is focused—it is done to get one’s way). Sociopaths have little regard or respect for the rights and feelings of others. Sociopaths are often […]
For any parent who is alienated from their child, every single day brings the painful realisation that they are missing a vital piece of their heart and soul. To me it is an unimaginable pain, and yet one I encounter on an almost daily basis as I support men who through no fault of their own, have had this inflicted upon them.
Birthdays, holidays, and festive occasions are all exceptionally difficult times for alienated parents and after Christmas Day there is perhaps none more damaging or hurtful for men than being alienated on Father’s Day.
Many Australian families will be celebrating the role of father’s in their children’s lives this week. Little children will be rushing into Dad’s room to give him the present they made at school, or purchased from the school fete. Older children will be giving Dad a hug, making him breakfast and letting him know he is loved. Sadly though, many fathers will inevitably be alone on Father’s Day and prevented from seeing their children from whom they are cut off and intentionally alienated.
Born from nothing short of spite, hatred and monetary gain, many women will refuse contact on this day if it doesn’t fall on the ‘right’ weekend. For men who are fully alienated and have no contact, often through false allegations, they will know like other years before that they must yet again face this painful day and somehow survive it.
I asked some men from my support group to share their words of what it means to them to be an alienated Dad on Father’s Day. Here are there heartfelt replies.
Hurt. On the most important day in a Father’s life after birth, being with your children on Father’s Day and denied by the mother. It is a knife to the heart, it reduces you to tears and desperation and questions your own worth.
Devastated, heartbroken, confused. I see my daughter for 30 hours in a whole year and they have canceled repeated scheduled visits through no fault of my own. I tried to arrange to see her on Father’s Day, but the mother won’t agree.
You loose hope and you feel suicidal anger and it changes you in a big way , so you move on in this difficult life and carry the pain for the rest off your life.
My ex girlfriend won’t let me see them. I don’t have words for it and I try not to think about it…. Because it’s depressing
It’s absolutely heartbreaking I’d rather not remember the date of fathers day so I can just skip it
First marriage, my children were abducted by their mother for ten years. No Fathers’ Day, no birthdays, no Christmas, nothing. I have still not seen my daughter from that marriage since 1983…….What can I say about the lost time? It sucks. My eldest son, who will soon be 39, only stopped crying on seeing me (or talking on the phone) a couple of years ago. I don’t give a f**k about the impact on me. That is a child’s life destroyed.
For these men the lies and false accusations by the mother of their children have left them with a life of pain. They are faced with a no-win situation when our legal institutions predominantly support the woman’s word irrespective of any evidence, when it is really born out of nothing but evil.
During the court process the mother is the assumed carer and this buys her time and incentive to keep the legal process being drawn out. You see, the longer she alienates the father the more likely she is to get full parental responsibility. She hates him and she wants him to pay, so she wins at all cost through sanctioned perjury.
For the ‘lucky’ ones, even when he proves he has never harmed her or the children he is forced to pay for access through ‘supervised visitation’ centres which are often run by staff who treat innocent father’s like criminals.
All the while she lives off the child support he pays even though he can get very limited or often no access to his children. Our society labels these men as ‘deadbeat dads’ but these mothers are the deadbeats. Lazy, vexatious and vindictive women who want to cause harm at any cost.
We can not ignore the impact on children who are also the victims of this malicious and self-centred vendetta. Amanda Sillars from Eeny Meeny Miney Mo Foundation recently commented about the effects on children of Parental Alienation
“This is about power, manipulation and control by a selfish often mentally unwell parent who hates their ex more than they love their own child. The mourning for the child and parent is a ongoing till the day the child is old enough to break free to love that parent. Sometimes the damage is irreversible where the child cannot bond because they have lived a life of conflicted thoughts and suppression.
Children will grow up with a distortion of reality, they will be taught harshness & cruelty and they will learn to exaggerate negative qualities. If the child is strongly influenced by the ex the child loses their ability to think or to feel for themselves. If the child is not taught to have concern for others the child will grow up to have no empathy. A child that grows up with a polarised perception will assume that anything less than perfect should be rejected.
Australia [and the world] needs legal and mental professionals to educate in this sinister, subtle, complex form of child abuse & spousal abuse. Many parents and children suffer in silence because our legal system does nothing to stop it. Some parents cannot and will not co-parent. The courts allows false allegations with no penalties, allows breeching of orders with no consequences and does not have the children’s best interests at heart.
Each man has his own methods of survival. Some that have been alienated for extended periods have found ways to ‘cope’ with what has been inflicted upon them. For all though, it is a soul destroying process of prolonged torture.
For me this year I accept that I will not have any contact from my only biological child. I know it’s not her fault. This year I am choosing to celebrate having my own father in my life. At 81 he’s not always going to be around and I want him to know that he is loved and how important he was to me growing up and knowing that he is always there for me. I know and understand the unconditional love that he has for me and I want him to know how much I appreciate all that he has done for me. It makes me very sad that he won’t see or get a card from his only grandchild though. Parental alienation is child abuse.
Whatever we do in society, we have a responsibility to care for others. This Father’s Day, please reach out to an alienated father and let him know that you care. Let him know that he’s not alone and that like all of us, he is worthy of love and connection with his children.
I will finish with this final quote.
I have not seen my daughter since she was 4, and she will soon be 17. This is the work of a malicious ex-wife and a horribly biased Judge. I was never accused of anything – they just did what they wanted and trampled on my rights, and more importantly, my daughter’s rights. I cannot recover the lost years and experiences that my daughter and I were deprived of. I know now that I will never see my daughter again. If she had died, there would have been an ending to the loneliness and anger eventually. The fact that she is still alive yet unreachable through the machinations of others is like an open wound that never heals and never stops hurting.
[Source: relatingtomen.com ]