Imagine: Chuck and Sue have been married for 13 years. They have two girls, 8 and 10, and their marriage is in trouble. They decide to divorce and things take an awful turn for Chuck and his daughters. Sue begins to tell the girls what a horrible guy dad is, undermining their positive feelings for him. She starts limiting their time with him, calls him names in front of them and paints him in an unfavorable light. After a time, the girls start to believe mom and make the choice to not spend time with dad.
What is happening here is not uncommon. Sue is displaying the characteristics of an Alienating Parent. She has “alienated” Chuck or created hostility towards him.
Fortunately, “family courts are beginning to recognize . . . Parental Alienation as a form of child abuse, as the alienating strategies used on the children are disturbing, confusing and often frightening, and rob children of their sense of security and safety.”
As with other forms of child abuse, the courts can mandate parenting classes. In the current culture, many take the classes online. One website, OnlineParentingPrograms.com has recently added Parental Alienation to the topics of their four-hour parent education course. They teamed up with noted expert in the field, Joseph Goldberg, to create a 45 minute addition to their basic class. Lori LaVigne, Education Director for the website http://www.onlineparentingprograms.com/ says, “This issue is paramount for Mr. Goldberg and we are happy to be working together on this project to further the awareness of parental alienation.”
Goldberg says that he is proud to be contributing to this important work and offers his thanks to the site for “seminal achievement in educating parents on the dynamics of parental alienation.” (source)
Other online sites that offer resources, classes and materials in healthy co-parenting can be found here:
- Conscious Co-Parenting Institute
- Breakthrough Parenting
If you are a parent in Palm Beach County who may be experiencing alienation, do some research and get some help from a qualified attorney. You and your kids will be glad you did.