Parental Alienation Psychological Impact on Children
When we think of Parental Alienation we immediately think of the immediate parents and not the children or siblings to the alienation. As parents, all we try to do is protect the siblings with excuses after excuses as we try to protect them from the psychological effects of losing their sibling.
Sometimes we underestimate the extent of damage caused suddenly when a child is separated from a parent or sibling. While surfing online I found a video I wanted you to see from some researches in the US on the effects of a child being separated from a parent.
Inside the Brains of Children Separated from Parents
From the above video, you can see the effects of a child being separated from a parent has on them. Every day a child is separated from a parent for one reason or another but is it a justified reason or is it orchestrated by a spiteful bitter person. A person who cannot see past their own anger then rather see their child happy with both parents in their lives. Can someone’s anger be so much more important than your child’s mental health and well-being?
A child does not ask to be brought into the world that decision is made by two loving parents at the time and regardless of their personal situation that love should always remain with the child and child’s best interest. Then the poor child is dragged through a system of courts and government agencies that cause more stress and strain by the parents, which in some cases do not have a choice.
If one of the parents decides to move away or disappear with the child to spite the other person, why are they not pursued by the government agencies whereby enforcing contact with the bitter spiteful alienator. Why is it so easy to rip a child from a loving home with siblings and grandparents because one side of the family is upset with the other. The law should be onside of the child and the alienated parent to make sure the long-term effects of another person’s actions do not psychologically damage the child and alienated parent.
To sum up what it feels like as an alienated parent who loses a child that is alive is a constant sense of grief! You grieve every day, you feel hollow and that you are just a shell of a person that is waiting to feel complete. Sleepless nights and stress that feels like your head is going to explode with no escape.
Summed up nicely in this quote
“I’d thought those memories would be the ones I always cherished, but as the days and years passed by, those beautiful memories became my pain.”
I just wanted to end this post with a video of how children feel when they are alienated from a parent.
On Tuesday 11th September 2018 the BBC ran a short segment on CAFCASS & Parental Alienation. Although I welcome the airtime highlighting something that fathers have been campaigning for decades on. The BBC did not interview or even feature a father that had suffered or is still suffering Parental Alienation! This is very disappointing and clearly again shows the media bias towards fathers.
Looking at the freedom of information request I have received back from the Child Maintenance Services clearly show the overwhelming statistic that men are categorically the main no resident parent. So if alienation was going to occur it would be against a father and his immediate family. Yet the BBC chose to interview women and also use them for the voice overs on the short piece on Parental Alienation. I am not saying women don’t suffer from it far from it, but during a break up 90% the time the child will stay with the mother.
So, why did the BBC not use any men within the video it’s because we are seen as either less important in a child’s life or aggressive militants. See as a father your not allowed to be seen to be a proactive loving person who wants their children in there lives. We are always seen as the violent perpetrator who should not be around their children and not caring enough to be the main caregiver. This false narrative needs to stop and we are going to put a stop to this media bias against fathers. #TotalReform
So what is parent alienation syndrome? And who does it?
Parent alienation syndrome
Parental alienation syndrome, a term coined in the id 1980’s by child psychiatrist Dr. Richard A. Gardner, occurs when one parent attempts to turn the couple’s children against the other parent. A parent who is angry at the spouse or ex-spouse accomplishes this estrangement by painting a negative picture of the other parent via deprecating comments, blame and false accusations shared with the children. They may also hoard the kids, doing all they can to thwart the other parent’s parenting time.
In my clinical practice, the mother most often has been the alienating parent, turning the children against their Dad. At the same time, I also have had multiple families in which Dad is the toxic parent, poisoning the children against their mother. In general, the alienating parent is the least emotionally healthy, and often the more wealthy (to be able to afford legal challenges).
The sad reality is that parents who poison their children’s natural affection for the other parent are doing serious, even abusive, damage. PT bloggerEdward Kruk, PhD updates the research on this important point:
“A survey taken at the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts’ annual (2014) conference reported 98% agreement “in support of the basic tenet of parental alienation: children can be manipulated by one parent to reject the other parent who does not deserve to be rejected.”
For the child, the biopsychosocial-spiritual effects of parental alienation are devastating. For both the alienated parent and child, the removal and denial of contact in the absence of neglect or abuse constitute cruel and unusual treatment. … . As a form of child maltreatment, parental alienation is a serious child protection matter as it undermines a basic principle of social justice for children: the right to know and be cared for by both of one’s parents.
An alienating parent usually shows narcissistic and also borderline tendencies.
Narcissism is selfishness on steroids. Narcissistic individuals tend to be self-absorbed. Most centrally, they show deficits in ability to listen to others’ differing perspectives. Instead they hyper-focus on what they themselves want, think, feel and believe without taking into consideration others’ desires and ideas.
A narcissistic alienating parent uses the children as weapons, pawns in his/her battle to destroy the other parent. They claim to be protecting the children against the evil other. In fact, by using the children in their perpetual fight to hurt the other parent, they show little capacity for taking into consideration what is in the best interests of the child.
Kids need both parents. They do not however benefit, and indeed are harmed, when one of their parents portrays the other in a relentlessly negative light. They do not need parents who fight their way through divorce and post-divorce. They are harmed when parents put them in the middle of their power battles. They are harmed when a parent uses them to accomplish their own angry agenda, ignoring the needs of the children.
The central element in borderline personality disorder is emotional hyper-reactivity. The excessively intense emotion often gets expressed as anger.
In addition to getting emotionally aroused too often, and too intensely, people with this disorder often have difficulty self-soothing. Their distress thus tends to be longer-lasting than the distress that most people experience. In this regard, they have deficits in emotional resilience, in the ability to recover once they have felt frustrated or disappointed. They become at risk therefore for developing a victim self-image, blaming others for whatever goes wrong—which in turn enables them to victimize others. “I’m a victim so I have a right to victimize you.”
Borderline disorders become evident in the way that an alienating parent twists reality. They offer trumped up accusations against the healthier parent, accusations that actually are projections of how they themselves are. “Your dad is selfish,” says the actual selfish parent. Or “Your mother is crazy,” says the dad who is himself emotionally unhealthy.
Alienating parents typically also engage in another quintessential borderline pattern, a habit that therapists refer to as splitting. They enlist others to join their side in fighting against the supposedly evil other, splitting the family into us against them.
Individuals with borderline personality features get mad when someone of import to them won’t give them what they want—e.g., a spouse who has decided to leave the marriage, generally because the alienating partner was not capable of healthy, loving and collaborative partnership. Their goal then becomes to destroy the other parent’s relationship with the children. They corral in the children to join them in this battle as a fighter for their side. They do all they can to deprive the other parent, their enemy, of being able to continue to be a parent.
Feeling perpetually angry at your spouse or ex-spouse? Anxious about your co-parenting relationship? Depressed about the situation?
Better check out if either of you is involved in trying to turn your children against their other parent. If so, think again.
Do you really want to cause major psychological damage to your off-spring? Change is possible. Go for it. Starting today.
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