Friday, September 05, 2008

thoughts for the day

A parent who uses his or her child to punish the ex-spouse is placing the anger, hurt and disappointment about the failed relationship above the child's need to have normal, healthy relationships with both parents. When a parent refuses to let a child spend time with his or her other parent, the child suffers.
A child always suffers when parents divorce – even when Mom and Dad do everything they can to make the transition as smooth as possible. In many cases the child must split his or her time between two homes. Other aspects of the child's physical and emotional world are also split in half. On any given day the child receives half the hands-on support, attention and guidance he or she received prior to the divorce. Children must also adjust to Mom and Dad having less disposable income, more stress as single adults and divorced parents, and eventually, new love interests.
The child suffers even more when parents put the child in the middle of their ongoing post-marital sniping and one-upmanship. What kind of parent would do such a thing to a child?
Parents who react emotionally to the slightest intentional or unintentional provocation from the ex-spouse typically look for whatever, or whoever, is closest to use in retaliation against the other parent. A child is usually close by. A child is also the ultimate "hit him/her where it hurts" weapon. Parents who make plans for the child on the other parent's weekend, refuse to pick up the phone when the other parent calls, or intentionally forget to mention next week's school play or soccer game ignore the child's desire for a normal life with both parents. These parents also put the child in dangerous emotional territory – defending one parent's actions, or worse, questioning a parent's desire to be a loving, attentive Mom or Dad.
If a parent teaches a child that his or her relationship with the other parent is unstable, insecure, inconsistent or temporary, there will be a correlation between the damaged parent/child relationship and difficult adult relationships years later.
Parental Alienation is Child Abuse!
With awareness comes education and understanding, and the power to stop the abuse of innocent children caught in the crossfire of people they love.

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