A second blog in a weekend, the first will be reposted later in the week after some adjustments. This one is about parental behaviours and the way in which children become trapped by those. Here is a list of behaviours used which may not be readily seen from the outside but on closer assessment will become apparent.
About alienating behaviours
The behaviour seen in alienating parents varies however a lot of parents will fall into one of the following loose categories.
Is strongly aligned to one or both of their own parents and may have been so even before the separation – Appears to be in a spousal relationship with one or both parents, does not have any kind of life outside of the family group, uses one parent or both to reinforce the power they have over the child, often will have excluded the other parent from active parenting before separation but intensively involved their own parent or parents, creates a hostile coalition which excludes everyone else, looks for approval from their own parents, sees confirmation of their own sense of self in their own parents, is unable to act without parental approval, is aware of parental disapproval of their child spending time with the other parent, is afraid or unable to speak against their parent or parents. In these families estrangement patterns are normalised and there are often aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and other wider family members who have been cast out of the family, family feuds are common.
Creates a culture of secret keeping and involves the child in information from adult relationships including that of their own parents – Elevates the child to the role of spouse within the relationship, ‘you are the man of the house now,’ seeks care from the child and to have their needs met by the child instead of the other way around which is the role of normal parenting, shares information with the child which they tell them to keep secret, shares inappropriate information about adult relationships within the family with the child, shares information from the parental relationship with the child including views on the other parent’s emotions and things that they have said, sometimes shares inappropriate information about sexual relationships, blurs boundaries and confuses the child about who is the parent and who is the child, makes the child feel special by sharing thoughts which are inappropriate, grooms the child with the special attention to alienate them from the other parent and from other people, children so affected can appear to be devoted to their parent and will follow them around and appear to be glued to them.
Behaves like a martyr or behaves fearfully around the other parent, makes allegations or creates allegations out of events which seem normal to other people – these parents are often those who are projecting unresolved trauma onto the other parent and as such are creating a drama of their own past out of the current circumstances, these parents act martyr like and as if something terrible is happening when in reality nothing out of the ordinary can be seen in the relationship between child and other parent, makes allegations and withdraws them, blows up small incidents into dramatic events, takes offence easily and creates divisions between the child and parent on the basis of their own hurt and suffering, the child is taken into the parent’s world of suffering and accepts that normal contact with the other parent is dangerous and harmful, the parent begins to project a form of delusional behaviour onto the child who begins to share the belief that there is something dangerous in the other parent’s normal behaviour, the child begins to react with fear which brings approval from the parent as it confirms their own experience, the child enters into a fusion with the parent’s belief and refuses to see a parent, this is met with relief by the parent.
Acts as if the other parent is dangerous to the child and as if they are the only person who can rescue the child. Places the child in the role of victim even when there is no danger to the child and never has been.
This parent is often playing out a scenario from their own past in which unresolved trauma is seeking expression. This parent is deeply concerned with control and seeks always to manage and monitor the relationship between the child and the target parent. The child in these circumstances is enrolled in a campaign in which the other parent is depicted as dangerous, this parent often ropes in other professionals and practitioners to assist them in their efforts to convince the child and the outside world of the danger of the other parent. This parent will convince the child that things have happened which are frightening and dangerous prompting the child to make allegations against the other parent. Allegations which are false or fabricated then become the imagined harm that the parent is rescuing the child from. This parent may have a psychiatric or psychological disorder and is often see to have poor boundaries.
The parent is consciously and determinedly engaged in a campaign of rage which is caused by a desire for revenge and is freely and consistently expressing hatred and vitriol towards the other parent – this parent does not hide their feelings or manipulate people into believing that they are not angry when they are but freely and consistently expresses their views of hatred and dislike, rage and desire for revenge about the other parent within the child’s hearing and the hearing of friends and family. Friends and family are often involved in echoing this hatred and will denigrate and devalue the other parent at will without any concern for the wellbeing of the child. A coalition of anger and vengeful feelings is built which the child is drawn into and finds it difficult to avoid even if it is painful. The child is made to feel afraid that if they show any allegiance to the other parent they too will be cast out of the coalition and hated in the same way. The parent feels justified in the hatred and anger (can arise if they have been left in the relationship or if the other parent has betrayed the marriage through an affair for example), some parents will move through this phase and then recognise that what they are doing is wrong and is badly affecting the child and stop it, conversely some parents can harden their approach and become fixated on hatred and revenge, the child is not considered to be separate from the toxicity of the feelings whirling around the environment and may be drawn into the anger or thrust out depending on the whim of the parent.
We are now in discussion with US publishers for the rights to the book which is ready to go, more news as we have it.
Parental Alienation Direct will be launched alongside the book.
The Family Separation Clinic is now delivering a new reunification programme in a key partnership, more news shortly.
The Family Separation Clinic continues to deliver skype coaching to rejected parents around the world and will add new resources to this soon. Downloadable resources and information will be available from Parental Alienation Direct to support parents.