Parental Alienation – What is it?

In Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Parental Alienation, Strategy Issues on September 9, 2008 at 11:26 pm

The topic of Parental Alienation syndrome is a hot button issue, and frankly what side you come down on, is very much determined by whether you are the parent who is trying to destroy any relationship between your kids and your ex, or whether you are the ex.

In a nutshell, it is when a parent, usually the mother, tries in subtle, and sometimes not so subtle ways, to create a wedge in the relationship betwen father and child. Professionals across the spectrum argue over what constitutes it, but a great resource for a parent who is concerned, is www.breakthroughparenting.com, Dr. Jayne Majors is an expert at spotting it, and giving men the tools they need to combat it.

Here’s an example of what a mom does  that is TEXTBOOK PARENTAL ALIENATION, “Susie, I want you call me as soon as you get to daddy’s house. You know you can ALWAYS call me if you need me.”  ON the surfact this looks like mom is just being a concerned mother. but the underlying message is that “Dad’s is not a safe environment for you and I’m concerned for your welfare.”

Many judges, lawyers, therpasts, counselors and evaluators will not see this as an example of PAS, but when comments like that pile up, it begins to create a wedge between child and parent. The goal of the alienating parent is to destroy the relationship between father and child, so that in a child custody case, full custody is given to mom in contravention of the father’s rights.

This is a big topic and it covers manys subject areas, many of my posts are tagged with PAS, as they all relate to it somehow.

  1. The reader must become aware of energies manifested in groups that are radically against the credibility and existence of Parental Alienation. Such groups include the National Organization of Women-NOW, Justice for Children-Houston, D.C., Phoenix, and Michigan, Courageous Kids, The Leadership Council, Stop Family Violence, attorney Richard Ducote, Judge Sol Gothard, and more. They get assistance from some of the largest law firms in the U.S., firms like Fulbright and Jaworski,Llp and Haynes and Boone, Llp.

    Some of these groups also peddle thier peculiar brand of understanding claiming that abusers are men and fathers while victims are women and mothers.

    Its past time that Parental Alienation be recognized as credible and epidemic and a most insidious form of child and parent abuse. Ask me, I am a victim of it from 22 years ago, via Justice for Children.

  2. In my research on this issue, I have found many mothers to be victims of parental alienation. There are no available statistics about the proportion of mothers as compared to the proportion of fathers who have to deal with this incredibly painful, frustrating, and damaging experience. The greatest victims are the children who — when the alienation strategies are successful at severing the relationship with the other parent — lose a parent and a part of themselves.

  3. It’s like in big legal trials where they look for the “silver bullet” – that one single crucial, unquestionable piece of evidence that will make the case solid. You never ever find that in PA cases. Because the “bullet” is really more like a 1000 tiny bb’s shot over time. You never really notice any single one – but in the end they totally destroy the target non the less. This is how so many alienating parents get what they want and destroy the targeted parent in the process – because no one sees the wounds and damage until it’s way too late. Especially the wounds to the children.

    The phone call example of a mom forcing the child to “Call the moment you get to dads, or call me if anything at all is a problem etc” does nothing but totally undermine the child’s relationship with the father – they learn not to treat him with any respect. If you can’t see or understand this – consider my ex-wife’s tactic – using the police.

    She would call the police and tell them she was “concerned” and they should do a welfare check at the father’s house during the children’s visitation time. Understand the request had ZERO basis – the mom would simply say she has “concern”. This not only totally disrupts the children’s time with the father, maybe interrupts a fun game, or doing homework or just sitting watching TV but it makes the father look bad or dangerous in their eyes. In a child’s mind they wonder “why would the police come and visit dad unless he did something wrong” – that is just how children think.

    This constant and insidious method of implanting FEAR, ANXIETY and DISTRUST in the children about a parent they love (regardless of the other parent’s feelings) is a very real form of mental / emotional CHILD ABUSE. And it has reached a level of epidemic proportion – these children pay a price all the rest of their lives. I’ve lived with it for 12 years – believe me it is very very real.

  4. So what can be done? I’ve watched this happen to a man I know and he’s stuck. Without the financial resources to take his ex-wife back to court and without the backing of local law enforcement, he has no recourse. His relationship with his son is at the mercy of his ex-wife’s continued (11+ years), white-hot hatred of him. She knows that and she uses it every chance she gets.

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