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Parental Alienation and Accountability

DISORDERED PARENTING AND PARENTAL ALIENATION

 

Disordered parenting and parental alienation affects hundreds of thousands of children every year in the UK alone.  And yet cases are often misrepresented and misinterpreted leading children to being left in the care of abusive parents, all  under the supervision of agencies whose sole responsibility is to protect vulnerable children.

 

Child protection issue

 

Parental alienation and disordered parenting is child abuse.  It is emotional, physical, psychological and sometimes sexual abuse.  The main categories are:

 

  • Rejecting (spurning) 
  • Terrorizing 
  • Corrupting  
  • Denying essential stimulation, emotional responsiveness, or availability  
  • Unreliable and inconsistent parenting  
  • Mental health, medical, or educational neglect  
  • Degrading/devaluing (spurning)  
  • Isolating  
  • Exploiting

 

Adapted from Joan T. Kloth-Zanard, 2012, FOR THOSE THAT REFUSE TO USE THE WORD PARENTAL ALIENATION 9 CRITERIA FOR CLASSIFYING AGGRESSIVE PARENTING BEHAVIORS AS PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

Legal issue

 

  • Family courts are often adversarial, unaffordable, slow, and even intimidating – characteristics which are profoundly incompatible with “the best interests” of children; 
  • Family courts and lawyers are neither qualified to assess children, nor to assess the competence of other professionals, and insufficient professionals have the highly specialized skills necessary for assessing children and families involved in separation, dispute or litigation, where the incidence of family violence & abusive parental behaviour, including extreme psychological manipulation of children, is very high; 
  • By exposing children to unqualified “professionals”, by taking years to make decisions, and by greatly exacerbating parental conflict & stress, our courts contribute directly to the occurrence of psychological child abuse and family violence; 
  • Our courts restrict public scrutiny and fail to obtain feedback on the outcomes of the thousands of life-changing decisions they make each year; theirs is not the open, evidence-based approach our children need and deserve; 
  • Through the actions of our family courts, which typically result in a dramatic reduction, or loss, of loving, important relationships between children and parents (or a failure to restore such relationships), the UK is failing in its obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child & the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: we are denying some of the most fundamental rights, and needs, to tens of thousands of children and to their families; 
  • The annual cost of our family court system in government funding, consequent welfare dependency and lost income: billions of pounds. The cost in human loss and suffering: incalculable.

 

Adapted from Family Law Reform Coalition (AUS), 2015, Children in Crisis Executive Summary Urgent actions required to protect children in divided families 

 

Health issue

 

Parental mental health impacts the child’s outcomes.  Therefore a disordered parent is going to have a huge impact on a child’s health and well-being.  

 

Children of disordered parents and those who experience parental alienation often experience the following in adulthood:

 

  • Depression
  • Low self esteem
  • Substance misuse
  • Reduced ability to self direct
  • Reduced willingness to co-operate
    • (Amy J. L. Baker & Maria Christina Verrocchio 2013)
  • Anger and aggression
  • Self harm and suicide
  • Splitting
  • Long term mental health issues such as narcissism

Education issue

Hostile or neglectful parenting can result in anxiety and stress related disordered in children.  This can make school a very difficult environment for children.  They will be hypersensitive to sensory input and struggle with peer relationships.  This can lead them to be disruptive, withdrawn and eventually non-attenders (through expulsion or truancy).

Social Issue

When a child has chaos, neglect, threat, violence and other adversity, their potential is stunted, distorted and fragmented and when development is delayed, disrupted or impaired, the risk for more self-absorbed, impulsive, aggressive, violent and anti-social behaviour increases.  

Adapted from Bruce D Perry, 1996, Reflections on Childhood, Trauma and Society

Isn’t it time we worked together to address this problem?

The post Parental Alienation and Accountability appeared first on The Nurturing Coach.

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As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights?

As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights?

Question:

As a nurse amid COVID-19, how can I protect my parental rights?

Answer:

Michigan attorney
Jeffrey Worosz

I am only licensed in Michigan, so my answer may vary from the particular state that you reside in.

Until recently, being a nurse would not have much of an effect on custody and did not put a parent at risk for losing custody. The only issue with such a career, would have been the unconventional work hours nurses can have. However, the COVID-19 situation has certainly changed that since some parents will use whatever they can to their advantage in a custody battle. They also may be overly concerned about the safety of their children.

Making matters worse is a recent national news story, where judge in Florida stripped an emergency room doctor of her parenting time due to concerns over COVID-19, which undoubtedly emboldened some parents to seek to do the same. 

The best way to protect yourself and reduce the chance that a judge can do this is with strong evidence to show that your career has not created a danger for your children. Displaying evidence that you are not infected is necessary. It is hard for the court to say you are a danger if you do not have the virus.

Beyond that, it also is helpful to show the court what the realistic risks of contracting the virus are. Obviously, working as a nurse the risks would be higher than a parent that is working from home and not leaving their house, but that does not mean you have a 100 percent chance of contracting COVID-19.

A nurse can show that they are not at risk by noting what kind of safety precautions they use at work, how often they are tested at work, the extent of their possible exposure to COVID-19 at work, and any other measures that are taken to reduce risk. Showing the court that you are more aware than the average parent about exposure and protection will help show them that you are cognizant of the risks and are working to minimize them.

Another issue results from the misinformation and constantly evolving facts about the virus. Nurses and other medical professionals also come into contact with all sorts of illnesses by virtue of their job. Only recently, with the COVID-19 pandemic, has one’s profession become an excuse for parties to try and restrict their parenting time.

Working in the medical field, having access to more accurate information can be beneficial. If your hospital provides updates and information regularly to its employees, you can use that information to your advantage. Most judges and attorneys do not have backgrounds in the medical field and need to be educated as well from solid sources that can be trusted, such as hospitals and medical professionals. That information can allow the court to make a more informed decision regarding parenting time.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Michigan divorce lawyer Jeffrey Worosz, contact Cordell & Cordell.

The post As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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parental alienation

How do you explain parental alienation to someone who has never heard of it?

My brother knows what I went through with my ex.  I talked to him about some bits but probably never really told the whole story as there were children involved and it wasn’t all my story to tell.  I don’t think he fully understood because, well it’s almost impossible to understand.  I don’t know if I did back then but last year he moved to a new village and made some new friends.  They had a housewarming party and one of his new friends started telling him about how his ex was blocking contact with his child.  Suddenly my brother looked at me and said “isn’t that what you do?”

parental alienation

Sadly, for victims that look of bewilderment is all too common.  People just don’t get it.  They understand parents using their kids.  They understand dad’s who don’t see their kids any more.  But they have no clue about the reality of it and the damage it does.

Children learn more from what you are than what you teach

With every bewildered look, there comes an element of blame.  They may not externalise it but often they are thinking “you must have done something to deserve it”.  Or they explain it away as “children don’t always want to spend time with their kids past a certain age”.  Whilst there may be some truth within both of these, the reality is that parental alienation and the behaviours associated with them are far more manipulative, insidious and destructive.

Most parents already feel wracked with guilt, they do not need anyone else piling that on them

I am not having a go at anyone here because let’s face it, until we experienced it for ourselves, we had no real idea about it either.  Part of me feels glad that not everyone does know about it because that would mean more children affected but the other part of me wants everyone to WAKE THE HELL UP! This is happening to their friends and family, their colleague, their neighbour.  It’s real and the sooner we all take notice, the faster the abuser can be seen for the true monster they are.

So how do you explain it to someone who has never heard of it?

  1. Well first off I personally would think carefully about who you tell. Not everyone can be trusted and may be gathering intel for you ex.  Equally, it can be really painful when you tell someone and they don’t understand.  You have to relive it every time.  Try to find a way you can answer the “do you have children?” question which doesn’t invite too many questions but equally doesn’t paint you as the problem.  Something like “yes I have two children but they live with their mum/dad at the moment, we are in court to resolve custody issues”.  You can then change the subject.
  2. Avoid using labels like narcissists or personality disorders.  Not because it isn’t true but because the average person won’t understand and it won’t help you as it’s just another thing to explain.  Keep it short and to the point – “my ex has issues and it is affecting our co-parenting relationship”.  Yes that is a huge understatement but remember you are talking to someone who doesn’t understand ANYTHING. So baby steps.
  3. If it is someone a bit closer to you, I would talk about your own feelings rather than the situation.  There is a huge temptation amongst victims of parental alienation to go into every little detail with anyone who will listen.  From my experience this can actually leave you feeling more isolated as two things happen. 1) you think they are sick of hearing you talk about it so you pull back. 2) they struggle to know how best to support you so go quiet which you take as rejection and feel more hurt.  Find a therapist or support group who understand what you are going through and vent to them.  By all means keep people posted but share the details for partners or specialists.
  4. Be aware that your partner is experiencing this too and will be being traumatised by the process.  It’s horrible watching the person you love being abused and not being able to do anything about it so think really carefully about how you communicate with one another.  Obviously you want to share but make sure it doesn’t overtake your whole life.  They may have come into this with no idea whatsoever that people did this sort of thing.  I was a rainbow and unicorns kind of girl before all of this and it has been traumatic to come to the realisation that people can be so evil.  Consider other’s experience when you are deciding what to share.
  5. This is just a personal one for me but remember that there are children involved and so going around telling the whole world your business is actually telling everyone their business as well and I would always seek to protect that.

I want to make the point here that I am NOT talking about professionals who absolutely SHOULD have heard of it.  If they haven’t point them in the direction of industry training (i.e. if they are a Cafcass worker, point the towards their own online training portal).

 

Finally remember that you actually don’t need them to understand the situation.  If they are close to you all they really need to understand is that you are hurting and may be angry sometimes.  What you need is compassion and love.  

 

Take care 

The post How do you explain parental alienation to someone who has never heard of it? appeared first on The Nurturing Coach.



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PARENTAL ALIENATION IS FAKE

PARENTAL ALIENATION IS FAKE (apparently)

PARENTAL ALIENATION IS FAKE

This article was published in January 2020 following a research article by Dr Adrianne Barnett. I have taken my time in writing a response because it is a complex issue and I didn’t want to react with my emotions rather than my head.

I want to start by saying that I do agree that parental alienation can be used by abusive parents to obtain more access and control over their ex and the children. That in a nutshell is what parental alienation is.  The issue I find with this article is the misrepresentation of the facts and a clear misunderstanding of what parental alienation really is.

DOMESTIC ABUSEFirstly, women can be victims of parental alienation as well as men and so the assumption made in this statement is completely unhelpful to both genders.  I have worked with mothers, fathers, grandparents, step parents, aunties and uncles and even siblings who have been alienated.  Abuse is not gender specific and statistics can be fudged. Turning it into men v women greatly distorts the abuse dynamic and shows the author has no understanding of family systems and personality disorders. 

Secondly, it is rarely in cases where one parent has “won custody”. In the cases I have worked with, it is usually cited by a parent during the custody battle where one parent is restricting access to the children.  The very language of “mothers who have won custody” is detrimental to a child’s welfare. They are not a prize to be won. They are children who deserve to have a relationship with both parents. Having worked in child protection, children rarely reject their parents. Even abusive ones. In fact they often crave their love more as they have internalised that it must be them who has done something wrong and so want to win back approval.

So-called “parental alienation”

The quotation marks really wind me up here!  And shows the author has done no research into exactly what parental alienation is.  Denying that it exists is an insult to every mother, father, grandparent and child who has experienced this and shows a real bias in the authors work.  Research papers should look at the issue as a whole, not just the one sided approach Dr Barnett appears to have taken. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSEPractice 12J and the Fact Finding hearings were introduced to ensure that due diligence was done in cases where domestic abuse allegations are made.  In addition to that, police would have done their own investigations and where no evidence was found, No Further Action (NFA) was recorded. “Evidence” of domestic abuse cannot be provided where there was no domestic abuse.  Repeated NFA’s would indicate a pattern of false allegations and it is THIS PATTERN which is used as evidence to indicate parental alienation.

Parental alienation is not an equal counterpart to domestic abuse, it is a means of obscuring domestic abuse, and should be recognised as such”. Dr Adrianne Barnett

Actually Dr Barnett, parental alienation IS domestic abuse.  It is all about power and control. One parent simply refusing to allow the child to have a relationship with the other parent.

abusive fathers

Well this just takes the biscuit and proves to me the ill-informed, biased and dangerous stance taken by the author.

There are thousands of parents who are currently having no contact with their children due to allegations of abuse. Men who are accused of being violent and controlling, women who are accused of being mentally unstable and neglectful. To say that allegations are “frequently filtered out” goes against all the experiences of these people. And it is, to be quite frank, insulting. 

Domestic abuse is such a complex issue.  This article seems to imply that only men are capable of it. It also ignores the evidence that domestic abuse allegations have increased since the restrictions on legal aid were introduced meaning making an allegation of domestic abuse has financial rewards.  

However, it is true that many abusive parents will claim alienation rather than estrangement.  This article doesn’t even mention the difference. In fact this article is so women focused that children aren’t even given centre stage! 

Both men and women are victims of parental alienation.  But the truth in all of this is that CHILDREN ARE THE VICTIMS. Perhaps the author should have taken the time to speak to some of them before writing off this horrendous child abuse.

What are your thoughts?  I am interested in hearing from you about your experiences.

Are you heading to court with your ex and concerned that this narrative will impact your case?

 

Check out our specialist programme, GET COURT READY, to give you the tools to overcome the bias and rewrite the narrative

The post PARENTAL ALIENATION IS FAKE (apparently) appeared first on The Nurturing Coach.

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Damning New “Research” into Parental Alienation

Damning New “Research” into Parental Alienation

PARENTAL ALIENATION IS FAKE

This article was published in January 2020 following a research article by Dr Adrianne Barnett. I have taken my time in writing a response because it is a complex issue and I didn’t want to react with my emotions rather than my head.

I want to start by saying that I do agree that parental alienation can be used by abusive parents to obtain more access and control over their ex and the children. That in a nutshell is what parental alienation is.  The issue I find with this article is the misrepresentation of the facts and a clear misunderstanding of what parental alienation really is.

DOMESTIC ABUSEFirstly, women can be victims of parental alienation as well as men and so the assumption made in this statement is completely unhelpful to both genders.  I have worked with mothers, fathers, grandparents, step parents, aunties and uncles and even siblings who have been alienated.  Abuse is not gender specific and statistics can be fudged. Turning it into men v women greatly distorts the abuse dynamic and shows the author has no understanding of family systems and personality disorders. 

Secondly, it is rarely in cases where one parent has “won custody”. In the cases I have worked with, it is usually cited by a parent during the custody battle where one parent is restricting access to the children.  The very language of “mothers who have won custody” is detrimental to a child’s welfare. They are not a prize to be won. They are children who deserve to have a relationship with both parents. Having worked in child protection, children rarely reject their parents. Even abusive ones. In fact they often crave their love more as they have internalised that it must be them who has done something wrong and so want to win back approval.

So-called “parental alienation”

The quotation marks really wind me up here!  And shows the author has done no research into exactly what parental alienation is.  Denying that it exists is an insult to every mother, father, grandparent and child who has experienced this and shows a real bias in the authors work.  Research papers should look at the issue as a whole, not just the one sided approach Dr Barnett appears to have taken. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSEPractice 12J and the Fact Finding hearings were introduced to ensure that due diligence was done in cases where domestic abuse allegations are made.  In addition to that, police would have done their own investigations and where no evidence was found, No Further Action (NFA) was recorded. “Evidence” of domestic abuse cannot be provided where there was no domestic abuse.  Repeated NFA’s would indicate a pattern of false allegations and it is THIS PATTERN which is used as evidence to indicate parental alienation.

Parental alienation is not an equal counterpart to domestic abuse, it is a means of obscuring domestic abuse, and should be recognised as such”. Dr Adrianne Barnett

Actually Dr Barnett, parental alienation IS domestic abuse.  It is all about power and control. One parent simply refusing to allow the child to have a relationship with the other parent.

abusive fathers

Well this just takes the biscuit and proves to me the ill-informed, biased and dangerous stance taken by the author.

There are thousands of parents who are currently having no contact with their children due to allegations of abuse. Men who are accused of being violent and controlling, women who are accused of being mentally unstable and neglectful. To say that allegations are “frequently filtered out” goes against all the experiences of these people. And it is, to be quite frank, insulting. 

Domestic abuse is such a complex issue.  This article seems to imply that only men are capable of it. It also ignores the evidence that domestic abuse allegations have increased since the restrictions on legal aid were introduced meaning making an allegation of domestic abuse has financial rewards.  

However, it is true that many abusive parents will claim alienation rather than estrangement.  This article doesn’t even mention the difference. In fact this article is so women focused that children aren’t even given centre stage! 

Both men and women are victims of parental alienation.  But the truth in all of this is that CHILDREN ARE THE VICTIMS. Perhaps the author should have taken the time to speak to some of them before writing off this horrendous child abuse.

What are your thoughts?  I am interested in hearing from you about your experiences.

Are you heading to court with your ex and concerned that this narrative will impact your case?

 

Check out our specialist programme, GET COURT READY, to give you the tools to overcome the bias and rewrite the narrative

The post Damning New “Research” into Parental Alienation appeared first on The Nurturing Coach.

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