Monday, March 10, 2014

Understanding when a child tells you that you are doing wrong by alienating the other parent - Parental Alienation

10 March 2014

Over the weekend I performed a forensic assessment of a boy who is age 7. He was presented with “difficulties in cooperation, completing assignments, and being attentive in class.” His parents have been involved in years of ongoing litigation. The mother relocated the children to another town, changed their school, and has alienated them from the father. The father sought my assistance in the discipline and schooling problems.

In doing an assessment of a child this age I ask that the child write a story as instructed as follows:
Write a story about what it would be like if you were the President of the United States. Who would work in the White House with you and what would you have your parents do as jobs? What rules would you establish and what would happen to people who didn't follow your rules?

This boy's story revealed some very telling information.
~ [child] wanted his White House to be located halfway between the homes of his mother and father.
~ The job for his father was to be a helper or advisor to him.
~ The job for his mother was to be “cleaning up dog poo”
~ The punishment for people who would not do what [child] wanted could escalate to having to “clean up horse poop with their hands.”

This boy clearly wants to be close to both parents. He obviously wants the counsel of the father who is very actively involved in the development of the child. The similarity between the job for mother and punishment for those who do not do as the boy wishes clearly indicates a hostility toward the mother. This is reflective of what I wrote about in Self-Imposed Parental Alienation in November of last year. In that I wrote;
The tragedy of self-imposed parental alienation is that the child generally has a healthy parent-child relationship with the targeted parent impeded by the instigating parent, but this also can create an enduring hostility toward that instigator.

Children are not blind to the dynamics of parental conflict. Throughout my years of observing a staggering amount of high conflict cases, often with elements of parental alienation, I have seen the result most often be the child turning against the instigating parent.

For those who would target the other parent in a programme of alienation it is worth considering whether the gain you may achieve from some type of emotional satisfaction derived from the belief that you may be winning the affections of the child is worth damaging the long-term relationship.

For those of you who are the targeted parent this should be able to provide to you some inspiration to parent the best you can, not retaliate, and enjoy a stronger relationship with your child in the future.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Make a suggestion for me to write about.

Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

View Stuart Showalter's profile on LinkedIn

Subscribe to my child custody updates

* indicates required
©2008, 2014 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

No comments: