If you are involved in the family court system, I am sorry. If you are repeatedly involved in the family court system in a high conflict divorce, all I can say is welcome to the club…and to fully educate yourself, buckle up tight, and learn to pray.
Cluster B personality types (anti-social, narcissistic, sociopath, borderline, etc) seem to be the prevailing personality type repeatedly filling our family courtrooms. This personality type will stop at nothing to win, at the cost of all involved, especially the children.
Parental Alienation is one of the many aspects of Domestic Violence by Proxy abusers use to further victimize their exes. Abusers will often use any means possible to further hurt the target parent and align the children. Children will often be sent through an emotional and psychological gamut to achieve the desired result. From rewarding for bad behaviors and hurting the target parent to bad mouthing and coaching against the target parent, there is no limit to what a Cluster B personality type will do to a child. The alienating parent will also play on the emotions of the children in playing the role of the victim, turning children into caregivers to care for the emotional needs of the parent.
The following are some signs to look for if you suspect your child‘s behavior may be coerced by the other parent:
- Your child suddenly becomes withdrawn, acting afraid of you
- Your otherwise calm child acts paranoid
- You hear from your other children that one will openly bash you to the other parent
- Your child becomes hostile or physically aggressive with you
- Your child will not think independently, instead mirroring the alienating parent
- Your child shows little or no respect toward you or anything you own
- Your child almost “idolizes” everything the alienating parent is and does
- Your child will not listen to your truths over the alienator’s lies
- You and/or your family are rejected
- Your child mimics words or phrases often used by the alienating parent
When the teen years hit, sometimes it is difficult to determine between the alienating behaviors and typical teen “jerk” behaviors. Sometimes it’s both which make you want to stare at the inside bottom of a wine bottle.
How do we combat the alienating behaviors? Therapy if possible, boundaries, patience, consistency, love, involvement, communication and creating a safe, nurturing environment while in our care. Will it be enough? Sometimes not. We have to walk out of this when our children turn 18 with a clear conscience that we did all we could to help guide them into being good people. Sometimes I feel like I am losing the war, then I see a little spark of the old Grant. I want to believe a little of him isn’t dead yet, but I don’t know. It’s hard. I want so much to believe in “karma” and that Grant will see through it all someday. I’m just not sure anymore. But, it doesn’t mean I won’t continue to try.
Go on YouTube and google Dr. Childress on parent alienation commonly now called pathogenic parenting.
Thank you!! I will!!!
Diane j says
My daughter does all of the above, but now she’s 23 yrs and has a daughter of her own. No relationship with her dad or dad of daughter’s father, she talks to me just like her dad did. Happily we are divorced but the damage is done. Really I know this might be wrong for saying ” but she hates me and think I might just feel the same. My mother passed March 1st of last yr, she did not know my mother real well if at all other then a call over the phone. I’ve been on disability for yrs now. I miss my mom both my parents are gone, I’ve done all I could for my kids I have no life I’m sure I don’t care about that. I have no one to talk to, I seen ur website yrs ago and seen this story! Thought it was just me that’s made her what she is. But I see maybe not. Just extremely difficult to deal with. Like to find another place to live don’t think I can afford it. But thanks for sharing. Just hate living like this.
Hi Diane, Thank you so much for commenting. It’s so hard. Are you on Facebook? I have a lot of contacts there who can help you not feel so alone. One friend in particular in a very similar situation. It took a lot of strength for you to share a little of your story with me. Please find me on Facebook. My name there is Izabella Pinkerton.
My ex made 100% Sure that my kids don’t listen to me and disrespect me. He made sure I’d have a hard time with 3 children all 1 year apart. He wanted to see me struggle so he taught them to be disrespectful and alienated them from me and my family. Now my oldest son says very disrespectful phrases and constantly repeats the horrific things my ex said to me. He repeats specific behaviors and doesn’t listen at all. It takes removing him from the area and placing him in time-out as hes punching, scratching, hitting, and biting me.
It becomes very difficult parenting children who have been warped by their father who is controlling, abusive, and manipulative.
I am so sorry Missy. Do you have your kids in Play therapy or counseling?
This type of sitaution happens to Fathers as well. Who wrote the article? Is there a source that we can cite? Are thre clear studies to help show these points, which can be used in court?
Hi Ric, Yes, this happens to fathers too. I never mean to disclude fathers or make my articles gender specific as much as I am just sharing my experiences. If you would like help I have many resources. Feel free to email me at [email protected]