Wednesday, August 19, 2009

FAMILY: Parental Alienation

Some parents are just crazy. They are unreasonable and will use their children to further their venomous attacks on the other parent. They will accuse the other parent of child abuse. They may even manufacture evidence to hurt the other parent. The scary thing is, these hostile parents often come off as credible in the courtroom.

They can be believable by keeping journals of fictional accounts where they claim the other parent yelled at them in front of the child, or threatened them, etc. They will have family members vouch for them in court and lie on the stand.

This all being said, the court is faced with a serious dilemma, whom to believe. It is therefore recommended that both parents keep journals detailing the raising of the children so that memories cannot fade. One reason people appear to lie on the stand is that they have forgotten something from the past. I also strongly encourage parents to video tape all exchanges and activities.

Parental alienation, however, is even more insidious than accusations of abuse or neglect. It is a form of conscious or unconscious mental and emotional coercion where one parent will cause the child to believe certain things about the other parent, causing the child not to want to be with the other parent.

A few examples include:

--Spoiling the child with material possessions with full knowledge that the other parent does not wish to spoil the child. The child will then favor the parent who gives in to all the material demands of the child and will dislike the parent who is trying to teach patience and humility.

--Speaking badly of the other parent. Suggesting the other parent does not really love the child or that the other parent is very immoral or evil human being.

--Undermining the other parent's efforts to teach morality by teaching a counter-morality.


A parent who has to deal with another parent who alienates their child should take steps early on to prepare for court battle. The more evidence presented at court by one parent will cause the court to believe the presenting parent. A child should not be a pawn in a battle for vengeance and the parent who clearly has the child's best interest at heart should win with the proper presentation.

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