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We need to keep the pressure on the NH Family Courts by educating the public about the numerous injustices occurring. Please feel free to send us your information for posting. I have not had any recent dealings with the court system so I do not have current information to post. The best way to deal with these unethical judges, guardian ad litems and lawyers is to post as much on them as you can so that people do not want to do business with them. I have personally known judges that have their own practices as most judges are attorneys first. Hit these people where it counts. Their wallets. Starve them out and cut off their funds. When people do not want to use their services, they will have to change their evil ways or be unemployed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Parental Alienation Syndrome: What Do You Do When Your Child Stops Seeing You as Mom or Dad?

I recently came across this article on what to do when your child stops seeing you as mom or dad.  This was of personal interest to me. 

As you may recall from one of my recent posts, while speaking with my eleven year old son recently, he said to me that I wasn't a father to him and that I never really was a father to him.  Reading this article made me realize just what is going on in the minds of a child that has been alienated. 

As the article states, "PAS is not a situation that can be managed or controlled. An alienated parent is powerless without successful family therapy or court orders designed to repair the parent/child relationship. All this parent can realistically do is reinforce positive messages to the child—“I love you. I’m still your mother/father. I will always be here for you.” The parent should try and remain calm. He or she shouldn’t raise his or her voice or use force." 

While I feel that this is sound advice, it comes back to the same problem that many of us alienated parents deal with on a regular basis.  We don't have the resources to deal with these issues in court.  I personally was tapped out by my ex-wife and her scheming litigation attorney Jaye Rancourt of BCLI.  Unethical attorney's like Rancourt will try to make you spend all of your money defending yourself.  They are looking to destroy you and break the bank.  Once the bank is broken, if you had an attorney, they will leave you since you no longer have any money.  Watch out for this.  If you go up against Rancourt, this is her method of operation.  Hit hard and destroy the defenders ability to fight back.  She will do this at the expense of your children.  What does this say about Rancourt's ethics as an attorney?

Read the article and let me know what you think. 
Parental Alienation Syndrome: What Do You Do When Your Child Stops Seeing You as Mom or Dad?
Children’s Voice Magazine
, July/August 2004

Imagine observing a normal, healthy, loving parent/child relationship one week, and watching the child profess to hate, refuse to see, or speak with the parent the following week. Mental health professionals can certainly identify inappropriate anger or immaturity issues in children. But just like doctors in the 1970s recognized flu-like symp­toms—fever, headaches, nausea and vomiting—without understanding that their patient had AIDS, many mental health professionals recognize Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) symptoms without understanding what drives the alienating parent and child’s behavior.

The concept of PAS is pretty simple—one parent deliberately damages, and in some cases destroys, the previously healthy, loving relationship between his or her child and the child’s other parent. In a severe PAS case the alienating parent and child work together to successfully eliminate the previously loved Mom or Dad from the child’s life. Their campaign is aimed at destroying Mom or Dad’s position as a loving parent and responsible adult.

The late Dr. Richard A. Gardner, author of The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide of Legal and Mental Health Professionals, coined the term Parental Alienation Syndrome almost 20 years ago to characterize the breakdown of previously normal, healthy parent/child relationships during divorce and child custody cases. Yet the United States judicial system pays little, if any, attention to PAS. The legal and psychological communities often mistakenly dismiss PAS as the typical rancor associated with high conflict divorce and child custody cases. With one of every two mar­riages ending in divorce, approximately 20 million children are already victims of mild, moderate or severe alienating behavior. Twenty-five million more children will likely face some form of alienating behavior in their futures.

“The key factor that is characteristic in all PAS families is the alienating parent’s real or perceived fear of abandon­ment,” says David Israel, a Connecticut clinical psychologist who specializes in child advocacy and family mediation. “During a divorce, the alienating parent feels an intense level of abandonment and betrayal. This parent uses his or her child to fill the void left by the divorce and destroy a relationship that is loved and cherished by the other parent.”

“Emotionally speaking,” Israel adds, “the child sees the parent as a victim and feels obligated to take care of the par­ent. The child takes on much more than he or she should take on - worrying about the parent, defending the parent, and making sure the parent is okay. During this time, the child becomes emotionally dependent on the alienating par­ent - looking to the parent for acknowledgement and praise on how well he or she is performing the new responsibili­ties. So you have a very unhealthy situation where the parent is emotionally dependent on the child and vice versa. This unhealthy dependency between parent and child is the foundation of PAS.”

A targeted parent trying to break the unhealthy dependent bond between an alienating parent and alienated child is in for a shock. The parent can’t reach the child with logic. The child no longer shares the parent’s “logical” view­points. Nor can the parent fall back on previously successful parenting skills. The alienated child now operates under a new set of rules - rules that no longer recognize the targeted parent as Mom or Dad. The parent can’t even reach the child with memories of happier days. The child has those memories buried so deep in his or her subconscious that the parent can’t find them with a map. As hard as it is for an alienated parent to believe, the love the parent and child shared is gone.
“The change in an alienated child’s behavior is the hardest concept for a targeted parent to accept,” according to Israel. “The transition from loved and respected parent to hated and despised parent happens rather quickly.”

The child’s change of behavior is rooted in anger. All children are initially angry with their parents during a divorce. After all, the parents broke up the child’s home and caused him or her pain. That’s normal. It is also normal for a child to act out his or her anger.

However on top of the normal anger an alienated child has another layer of anger. This child is angry with the target­ed parent for hurting the parent the child considers the victim. In PAS there are no boundaries separating the alienat­ing parent’s emotional perspective from the child’s emotional perspective. What the parent feels, the child feels.

Another factor fueling the child’s position, according Patricia Simpson, a licensed Maryland counselor who conducts custody evaluations for the courts, is fear.

“An alienated child is afraid he or she will lose the parent that he or she depends on,” Simpson explains. “The child rationalizes, ‘If I show the targeted parent any love, then my other parent, the one who takes care of me, will get angry and withdraw his or her love and support.’”

Rationalization is an alienated child’s best coping mechanism. “When a parent keeps a child away from the other parent,” Simpson adds, “and inundates the child with false or inappropriate information about the other parent, the child rationalizes that what the parent says must be true. After all, the alienating parent is taking care of the child. The child depends on this parent. The child knows he or she can’t depend on the targeted parent because the alien­ating parent says the child can’t.”

A targeted parent on the receiving end of disrespectful behavior from an angry, alienated child is often at a loss to explain it. How, this parent asks, could a previously well-behaved, sensitive, considerate child behave so poorly?

“An alienating parent sends the child all sorts of verbal and non-verbal signals that the child can act any way he or she wants without consequences,” Israel says. “In a relatively short period of time the targeted parent sees the child’s behavior become more defiant, oppositional and confrontational. The child tests the limits and discovers that there are no limits anymore. The alienating parent reinforces the child’s perception by allowing the inappropriate displays of anger towards the targeted parent to escalate.”

“And in his or her own way,” Simpson adds, “the child’s bad behavior towards the targeted parent is the child’s way of telling the alienating parent, ‘I’m acting this way to prove I love you so you won’t abandon me.’”

In a sense, the child stops seeing the targeted parent as Mom or Dad and starts seeing this parent as someone to be despised and disrespected. The child makes the distinction from the parent that once was to the parent who caused so much pain. How does a targeted parent manage a child who no longer accepts the parent? The answer is simple - the parent doesn’t.

PAS is not a situation that can be managed or controlled. An alienated parent is powerless without successful family therapy or court orders designed to repair the parent/child relationship. All this parent can realistically do is reinforce positive messages to the child—“I love you. I’m still your mother/father. I will always be here for you.” The parent should try and remain calm. He or she shouldn’t raise his or her voice or use force.

1 comment:

  1. Back in the day, when I was under the grotesque mis-impression that the courts actually are houses of honor, I would have said that a lack of resources might hold someone back.

    However, being actually educated now about the flagrant corruption and fraud in these so-called "courts," I know for certain that all the resources in the world can't make an alienating parent change. Regardless of how much money gets poured into the sewer that is the courtroom, you'll still have to face the same incompetent judges that refuse to uphold their own orders. When judges clearly demonstrate an inept illiteracy of the law, much less actually even knowing what's in the "best interest of a child", what alternatives are left?

    If you're not seeing or talking to your kid at all on account of their other parent actively refusing such contact, the poor kid doesn't even get the benefit of hearing the words "I love you and I'll always be here for you." There comes a well-documented and researched point at which that's just plain too little too late.

    While the words in this article are perhaps true, they're a bit unrealistic, quite often the problem lies not with the alienated parent. People need to wake up really damned fast, and learn that the real root of the problem is the fueling of these fires by corrupt judges, inept courts and greedy lawyers who put up with, if even promote the inhumane treatment of alienating "parents" toward their own children.