Children and parents who have undergone forced separation from each other in the absence of abuse, including cases of parental alienation, are highly subject to post-traumatic stress, and reunification efforts in these cases should proceed carefully and with sensitivity. Alienated children seem to have a secret wish for someone to call their bluff, compelling them to reconnect with the parent they claim to hate; despite strongly held positions of alignment, alienated children want nothing more than to be given the permission and freedom to loveand be loved by both parents (Baker, 2010). Yet the influence of the alienating parent is too strong to withstand, and children’s fear that the alienating parent may fall apart or withdraw his or her love holds them back. Research has shown that many alienated children can transform quickly from refusing or staunchly resisting the rejected parent to being able to show and receive love from that parent, followed by an equally swift shift back to the alienated position when back in the orbit of the alienating parent (Fidler and Bala, 2010). Thus while children’s stated wishes regarding parental residence and contact in contested custody afterdivorce should be considered, they should not be determinative in cases of parental alienation.
Reunification efforts subsequent to prolonged absence should be undertaken with service providers with specialized expertise in parental alienation reunification. A number of models of intervention have been developed, the best-known being Warshak’s (2010) Family Bridges Program, an educative and experiential program focused on multiple goals: allowing the child to have a healthy relationship with both parents, removing the child from the parental conflict, and encouraging child autonomy, multiple perspective-taking, and critical thinking. Sullivan’s Overcoming Barriers Family Camp (Sullivan et al, 2010), which combines psycho-educational and clinical intervention within an environment of milieu therapy, is aimed toward the development of an agreement regarding the sharing of parenting time, and a written aftercare plan. Friedlander and Walters’ (2010) Multimodal Family Intervention provides differential interventions for situations of parental alignment, alienation, enmeshment and estrangement. All of these programs emphasize the clinical significance of children coming to regard their parents as equally valued and important in their lives, while at the same time helping enmeshed children relinquish their protective role toward their alienating parents.
In reunification programs, alienated parents will benefit from guidelines with respect to their efforts to provide a safe, comfortable, open and inviting atmosphere for their children. Ellis (2005) outlines five strategies for alienated parents: (1) erode children’s negative image by providing incongruent information; (2) refrain from actions that put the child in the middle of conflict; (3) consider ways to mollify the anger and hurt of the alienating parent; (4) look for ways to dismantle the coalition between the child and alienating parent and convert enemies to allies; and (5) never give up on reunification efforts. As much as possible, Warshak (2010) recommends, alienated parents should try to expose their children to people who regard them, as parents, with honor and respect, to let children see that their negative opinion, and the opinion of the alienating parent, is not shared by the rest of the world. This type of experience will leave a stronger impression than anything the alienated parent can say on his or her own behalf, according to Warshak.
As Baker (2010) writes, alienated parents acutely feel the hostility and rejection of their children. These children seem cruel, heartless, and devaluing of their parents. Yet it is important to realize that from the child’s perspective, it is the targeted parent who has rejected them; they have been led to believe that the parent whom they are rejecting does not love them, is unsafe, and has abandoned them. Thus, the primary response of the alienated parent must always be one of loving compassion, emotional availability, and absolute safety. Patience and hope, unconditional love, being there for the child, is the best response that alienated parents can provide their children, even in the face of the sad truth that this may not be enough to bring back the child.
With alienating parents, it is important to emphasize that as responsible parenting involves respecting the other parent’s role in the child’s life, any form of denigration of a former partner and co-parent is harmful to children. Children’s connections to each parent must be fully respected, to ensure their well being, as children instinctively know, at the core of their being, that they are half their mother and half their father. This is easier said than done, as alienating parents are themselves emotionally fragile, with a prodigious sense of entitlement and need to control (Richardson, 2006), and thus pose significant clinical challenges. Yet poisoned minds and instilled hatred toward a parent is a very serious form of abuse of children. When children grow up in an atmosphere of parental alienation, their primary role model is a maladaptive, dysfunctional parent. It is for this reason that many divorce specialists (e.g., Fidler and Bala, 2010) recommend custody reversal in such cases, or at least a period of separation between a child and an alienating parent during the reunification process with an alienated parent. I have come to believe, however, that the means of combating alienation should not themselves be alienating, and that a non-punitive approach is most effective, with co-parenting being the primary goal. Thus engaging and involving the alienating parent in reunification programs, whenever possible, is critical (Sullivan et al, 2010).
PAAO ~ "Parental Alienation is either a form of Domestic Violence or on the continuum of Domestic Violence behaviors."
Doc says, "Need criminal courts to prosecute alienators!"
The parental alienation epidemic is out of control. it is destroying families by the millions! We need tax payer funded criminal courts to recognize and prosecute this terrible crime against the civil rights of children and parents everywhere. This could possibly stop the outbreak of family destruction. #parentalalienation #kidnapping #childabuse http://thechildpriority.com
Posted by Super Dad's Whos Kids have angry moms on Saturday, December 28, 2013
Steps to End Parental Alienation in America
Identifying the population size of current victims, and social services community, and roles results, initiatives involved with Parental Alienation. Steps to slaying the demon, to ending Alienation. From a personal level to an effective concept we hope this video inspires an organizational confidence in the enormous community of targeted parents and extended family. See more at http://thechildpriority.com
Posted by Super Dad's Whos Kids have angry moms on Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Alienated Parents - Call to Action
Organization and civil liberties protection spirited creative to help motivate activism, solution ism and efforts to "squash the alienation!" An an inspiring super video from Super Dad's Whos Kids have angry moms and http://thechildpriority.com
Posted by Super Dad's Whos Kids have angry moms on Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Super Dads whos kids have angry moms - Need Super Dad!
PARENTAL ALIENATION carries pretty much the same symptoms as kidnapping does... except maybe worse- this kidnapper hates the other parent. They are often jealous of the parents' latter successes. For whatever their reasons they are using children to destroy, and the first and primary destruction is Daddy (in some cases Mommy). This aggression seems to know no moral borders or boundaries. In America children and parents are ripped apart and are in suffering over money, power, control and hate. Children, courts, DCSE and lies are the weapons used of battles ex-spouses every where. Its a social disease put by the dreaded "alienation." There are logical solutions and cures but "machines of destruction" wont let them implemented. We need Super Dad! http://thechildpriority.com #parentalalienation# childabuse
Posted by Super Dad's Whos Kids have angry moms on Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Dallas Child, Fort Worth Child, and North Texas Child Magazine's May 2013 The article starts on page 28 and can be viewed online as well as by picking up copies of the magazines throughout North Texas.
Parental Alienation or Parental Alienation Syndrome did not make it into the DSM IV, not all is lost. Instead, what you will find is a discussion regarding the 'Child/Parent Relational Problem' where the discourse surrounds the cognitive issues of the problem that have the potential to include; "negative attributions of the other's intentions, hostility toward or scapegoating of the other, and unwarranted feelings of estrangement." According to Dr. William Bernet, one of the proponents for the PA language inclusion, "That's a pretty good description of a child's view of the alienated parent. “ At the very least, what has been acknowledged here is the conditions that must be present for alienation of one parent to occur. This is similar to what Dr. Craig Childress calls the 'parental alienation dynamic'. Same/same. All it really amounts to is the DSM IV acknowledging that these behaviors can lead a child to have cognitive problems of feeling 'unwarranted feelings of estrangement' towards what we call the 'target parent'.
(or Hostile Aggressive Parenting) is a group of behaviors that are damaging to children's mental and emotional well-being, and can interfere with a relationship of a child and either parent. These behaviors most often accompany high conflict marriages, separation or divorce.
These behaviors whether verbal or non-verbal, cause a child to be mentally manipulated or bullied into believing a loving parent is the cause of all their problems, and/or the enemy, to be feared, hated, disrespected and/or avoided.
Parental alienation and hostile aggressive parenting deprive children of their right to be loved by and showing love for both of their parents. The destructive actions by an alienating parent or other third person (like another family member, or even a well meaning mental health care worker) can become abusive to the child - as the alienating behaviors are disturbing, confusing and often frightening, to the child, and can rob the child of their sense of security and safety leading to maladaptive emotional or psychiatric reactions.
Most people do not know about Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting until they experience it. Parental Alienation Awareness is put forth to help raise awareness about the growth in the problem of targeting children and their relationship in healthy and loving parent/child bond.
We need your help to educate and make aware to the public the effects of Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting.
If you've been affected by Parental Alienation or know someone who has, or are a past victim of a parent who exhibited Hostile Aggressive Parenting, please write and tell us your story.
We will add your story to our letters page for everyone around the world to publish in their local magazines, newspapers, etc. Please remember to keep your story to the telling of the confusion, loss, love, and heartache. Please refrain from excessive anger and verbally assaulting anyone in your letters.
The aim of the Awareness is to make the general public, judges, police officers, mental health care workers, child protection agencies, lawyers, as well as friends and family of the targeted children or their parents become aware of this growing problem.
With awareness comes education and understanding, and the power to stop the abuse of innocent children caught in the crossfire of people they love.