Friday, November 13, 2009

Should the term "parental alienation" be coined something else?

Nothing stirs up emotions and comments more than a discussion about parental alienation. Is it a syndrome? Should it be included in the DSM? Is it a valid argument when parents can not have access to their children in custody cases? Is it hogwash based on Gardner's background? Whatever your views are on the words of parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome, I am here to tell you that "something" is happening in custody cases worldwide.

On one side of the coin, you have groups that say that any denial of access is parental alienation. On the other side, you have groups that say they deny access of the children to the abuser and the abusers bring up parental alienation against the victim and the victims are labeled as alienators.

I wish not to write about those two sides. I wish to write about families with children, that the children had loving relationships with both parents prior to a divorce. The same families that when custody becomes the battle, one parent, turns the children against the other parent.

Children do not want their parents to divorce. They feel a sense of loss when this happens. It is the parents job to assure the children that although mom and dad no longer live together, that they both love the children and both will be a part of their lives. A parents job is to make this transition as painless as it can be. They should set aside their differences and work in concert with each other for their children. This at times can be more than difficult, but the parents are adults and should know the rules of civility and they also should possess some common sense. They are not doing this for themselves, but for their children. Unfortunately this does not happen in many cases.

In many cases a sense of greed overcomes them as well as a sense of revenge and entitlement. The children are no longer individuals, but property that is used as a bargaining chip in this game of who wins what. A spouse that has to buy a new home, has to give up possessions, and pay monetarily, but has access to the children is not losing enough. It can also go the other way, as in the spouse who get to stay in the home , gains possessions and receives monies, but has to share custody they still have not gotten enough. They lost and must win. Money plays a part in this, as to who will pay the other for their leaving the marriage, but money can be earned. The stake in the heart is the children and who gets them and who has access to them, like they are the car or house: a possession. Even if the spouse that utilizes these techniques to gain the money leverage and upper hand, the other will realize that the children still love the other parent. This is not enough for them, they have to win more. As I stated prior the "stake in the heart" is the loss of the children and the best way to accomplish this is to have the children state they hate the other parent. Worse yet is allegations of abuse to the child by the parent. This may very well lead to the other parent losing all rights to see the child and to have any relationship with the child. This is the "win" that many parents see. This is alienation. Definition of alienation: withdrawing or separation of a person or a person's affections from an object or position of former attachment

It does not matter to me what the phrase is called. It is the loss of the affection with the children. Call it custodial interference, call it denial of parenting time, call it SOMETHING! But dammit, realize that there are some parents out there that claim they love their children and want the best for them, but deny them access, knowledge, and more to the other parent. This is not love, it is not protection, it is selfishness, greed, and revenge.

Children do not wake up one day and claim abuse. Children do not wake up one day and claim they hate the other parent. Children are not sharing a happy and loving relationship for years and decide that abuse took place years ago suddenly. Children are being coached to state things beyond their understanding in these cases. They parrot the other parents ideas and thoughts, statements that are well beyond their comprehension or even their cares at the stage they are in. For example: "You do not take me to get my hair cut, it is always Mom (Dad) that does". "You have too much furniture in your home". "You buy me dress clothes too much". Mom (Dad) only buys my clothes at Walmart, Target(insert other non high dollar store name)". "Mom (Dad) has to drive to your house for drop-offs and pickups". I don't need mom (dad) as much anymore in my life". Theses are not concerns of children, but what parents say to brainwash the children to say to those that make the decisions in custody cases.

This is epidemic and happens daily around the world. Call it alienation, call it interference, call it denial of parenting, call it something. BUT, see it as it parent using their children as pawns, as possessions, as bargaining chips to "win" revenge against the former spouse and to make them pay the ultimate price. The loss of a child's love for them and access to their children. Ultimately the children lose the most. They lose a parent who loves them. If this is not abuse, then I do not know what is.

Parental alienation is abuse! Stop the abuse!


  1. As we say in our book, A Family's Heartbreak: A Parent's Introduction to Parental Alienation, targeted parents don't care if you call the destruction of their relationships with their children a syndrome or a bad alignment of the stars and planets. They just want help repairing their relationships with their children.

    Thank you for this post.


    mike jeffries
    Author, A Family's Heartbreak: A Parent's Introduction to Parental Alienation

  2. Thank you Mike for your comment. You are EXACTLY right! Target parents do not care what this lose of relationship with their child or children is called. We know their is something amiss and we cannot fix it. We just know that one day we had a relationship and the next day it is gone. We want to know what to do, how to do it and how to prevent it from happening to other parents.

    Thank you!

  3. I personally know the author of this blog. She was my neighbor (and good one too). I know her relationship with her husband and I know her relationship with her son. She tells the truth and I personally know her emotions and the reasons for her building this site are real. She and her son were both good neighbors. She and her son during those times inseparable. In closing here, She is the greatest of Mamas.