Would you go to court to "win back" a child that has been alienated from you?
Hi matherese. It is my own child, but she was 15 when it happened. My lawyer said that at that age it isn't worth it, at 16 they have a right to say where they live. When the child is younger, if you "win" your case in court, you get a child who is there physically in your home, but not emotionally or psychologically. They would rather be with the aligned parent. It's heartbreaking to see a child who you once had a loving and nurturing relationship with turn into someone who is obviously being psychologically manipulated, whether it is conscious or not. I think texting her things like "Your mother is a retard" and "we won" when we went to court is damaging. I can't imagine what other things are said or texted about me. I think parental alienation is psychological abuse - it damages a parent's relationship, sometimes for a lifetime, and it damages the child's psychological health.
Hi Nicole, I think you may be right that the child who is "Forced" to visit with a parent they have said they hate can lead to a child who is emotionaly absent. However, it is more likely the case with alienated children that they are happy to be called on their stated desire (or hatred).
Amy Baker and Doug Darnall's work "Adult Children of Alienation", shows many children have common perspectives on many points. They are unanimous in saying they hoped they had been called on their stated wishes, and that they wished the seemingly hated parent had tried harder to have a relationship with them.
Anything you can do to make contact is helpful, somethings may be more helpful.
You seem to have done some research on alienation, have you written it up yet, where?
I've done a ton of research on the topic. I've posted one article on hubpages and have done @50 odd pages of my own for my research design class for my master's in psychology. I am familiar with Baker, Darnall, Warshak, Gordon's work with the MMPI-2 and alienating parents, the Summers who have linked narcissism with PA and others. I've researched psychology and law journals, read a few books on the subject, written about my findings for my class, and I've done it all because it's happened to me. I want to be educated as to what part I am taking in it, how I can possibly get my kid back - at least psychologically, and what part my ex plays in it. I am aware that some people think it is a scam. It's not. I know they tried getting it into the DSM-V as a syndrome, but that failed this year. At least it is getting the recognition it deserves. In the meantime, I still maintain contact with my child and remain loving toward her despite all I've been through (including false allegations).
There is actually more work that DSM editors are doing on parental alienation. It has not been rejected, but is drawing more attention than any other issue the editors are dealing with. The more you or anyone else can do to keep this ball in the air, the more likely that it will have a place in the DSM V.
If you are looking for avenues to use in promoting awareness of PA it may be helpful we spoke. Can you contact me off line, if not how would that happen?
Interesting question. My husband did and it did not work out well for him. CAFCASS interviewed his children only with his ex in the room and separately while she was waiting outside the room. The one child who was alienated told CAFCASS she never wanted to see her father again. The other told us that they kept asking her the same question over and over again in different ways, like they were trying to get her to say she didn't like her father.
CAFCASS recommended no direct contact. Reading the report nearly broke my husband's heart.
I would try other ways first if possible - writing letters, phone calls, maybe visits to Grandparents? Could you go to family counselling? My husband tried that but once the counsellor said the purpose was to work through the feelings so the children could develop a good relationship with their Dad, Mum never allowed them to go again.
Without knowing all the details, it is a difficult one to answer.
CAFCASS - is that similar to Child Protective Services? I'm sorry to hear about your husband's plight. It's truly frustrating to witness this happening. In an intact family, children have to work things out (but PA does happen in intact families). Unfortunately, when you have one adult who is willing to put their own needs ahead of their children's, Parental Alienation can occur. Sometimes it is unconscious, like a child overhearing a derogatory conversation about their parent. Other times it is more blatant. It's bad enough that the child had to go through the separation of their parents, but to have the child "choose sides" is even worse. We are the adults and children, barring any abuse, domestic violence, or neglect, deserve and need both parents in their lives. Each parent brings different gifts and traits that enhance a child's life. Adolescence is a time when children start to "bump up against" their parents. If that process is not allowed to happen, we create children who do not learn repercussions to their actions, that they can take the easy way out, and they do not have to abide by rules or anything they don't like. They are almost like a parent, given undue power over the target parent (oh, I can go on!!). When I asked my oldest to help rake the yard with her siblings, she announced it was child abuse! Then my ex met me in a diner and told me she was never coming back. My lawyer said that at her age, it wasn't worth it to pursue legal action. In the meantime, I try to remain neutral and try to stay in contact.
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