Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When the child doesn't demonstrate ambivalence

India's Dilemma on Inter-Parental Child Removal Written by Anil Malhotra   
Inter-parental child abduction is a serious problemconsidering that it induces life-long psychological damage to the tendermind of the abducted child. […]
The world is a far smaller place now than it was a decade ago. Inter-country and inter- continental travel is easier and more affordable than it has ever been. The corollary to this is an increase in relationships between individuals of different nationalities and from different cultural backgrounds. Logistically, the world in which we and our children live has grown immensely complex. It is filled with opportunities and risks. International mobility, opening up of borders, cross-border migration and dismantling of inter-cultural taboos have many positive traits but are fraught with a new set of risks for children caught up in cross-border situations. Trapped in the cross fire of broken relationships with ensuing disputes over custody and relocation, the hazards of international abduction loom large over the chronic problems of maintaining access or contact internationally with the uphill struggle of securing cross frontier child support. […]
We now need a new synergy, a motivated effort and a commitment to the cause of the removed child to shape a law to prevent the unfortunate removal of children. The child should not suffer. A law must be put in place forthwith for the cause of the child.

Dr. Anita Nischal, MD, Womens Healthcare Pavillion and Former Professor, Wagner College, New York
Hostile Aggressive Parenting (HAP) is a pattern of behaviour, manipulation, actions or decision-making of a parent that either directly or indirectly creates undue difficulties in the relationship of a child with the other parent; and/or promotes or maintains an unwarranted unfairness or inequality in the parenting arrangements between the child’s parents; and/or promotes ongoing and unnecessary conflict between parents which adversely affects the parenting, well-being and rearing of a child. HAP is most apparent in child-custody disputes and is used most often as a tool to align the child with one of the parents during litigation over custody or control of the child. 
Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is an abnormal psychological condition in a child which adversely impacts the child’s relationship with a (target) parent in a number of clearly identifiable and dysfunctional ways and the causes of the disorder can be reasonably traced back to the actions, behaviours and decision-making of a person(s) who are interfering with the child’s relationship with the (target) parent. It is one of the most damaging outcomes affecting children as a result of exposure to HAP. The most common symptom of children affected by PAS is their severe opposition to contact with one parent and/or overt hatred toward such parent when there is little and often, no logical reason to explain the child’s behaviour. The effects of PAS can last well into adulthood and may last for a lifetime with tragic consequences. PAS is usually related to highly litigious court cases where there is a “destroy to win or the end justifies the means”mentality.Alienating parents are driven by the overriding need for power, influence, domination and control. They have no internal conflict, because they truly believe they are right. 
If a problem arises, it is always someone else’s fault. Alienating parents find it easy to misuse the law because some family courts do not use mental health experts to assess the psychological underpinnings. If psychological evaluations are conducted on the alienating parent, they often reveal the “borderline, narcissistic, or hysterical personality” disorder. Although they may know how to act the part, they do not have empathy, sympathy or compassion for others. Unlike rational people, they do not distinguish between telling the truth and lying. Alienating parents know that sanctions of fines, jail time, or community service are seldom applied to those held in contempt of visitation orders and hence cases are dragged for years. This jeopardizes the child’s relationship with the target parent, and allows the alienating parents the advantage to continue alienating. The emotional cost of PAS is excessive to the target parent. Legal intervention is a must to remove the alienated child from the custody of the alienating parent, set boundaries for the alienating parent, and have the alienated child deprogrammed by a child psychologist. Without legal intervention, alienated children lose their ability and free will to make rational choices over their lives, experience serious psychiatric disorders, have poor social relationships, and of course pass the problem on to their children.

 Dr Roma Kumar, Clinical Psychologist, Sir Ganga RamHospital (Delhi)
“Nothing stirs up passions more than title controversy generated when parents are at war over the custody of a child.”
The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. It’s primary manifestation is the child's campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent's indoctrinations and the child's own contributions to the vilification of the target parent. Basically, this means that through verbal and non-verbal thoughts, actions and mannerisms, a child is emotionally abused (brainwashed) into thinking that the other parent is the enemy. PAS is more than brainwashing or programming, because the child has to actually participate in the denigrating of the alienated parent. This is done in primarily the following eight ways:
(i) The child denigrates the alienated parent with foul language and severe oppositional behavior.
(ii) The child offers weak, absurd, or frivolous reasons for his or her anger.
 (iii) The child is sure of him or herself and doesn't demonstrate ambivalence. i.e. love and hate for the alienated parent, only hate.
 (iv) The child exhorts that he or she alone came up with ideas of denigration. The "independent-thinker" phenomenon is where the child asserts that no one told him to do this.
 (v) The child supports and feels a need to protect the alienating parent.
 (vi) The child does not demonstrate guilt over cruelty towards the alienated parent.
 (vii) The child uses borrowed scenarios, or vividly describes situations that he or she could not have experienced.
 (viii) Animosity is spread to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent.
 The most common pattern of the mother is to show that ‘she is in control’. She will do that in a variety of ways ranging from ignoring the father to humiliating him. Paradoxically she is able to do it on the basis that the father loves his child so much he will put up with it. In most cases, the mothers do not take the children away with any clear cut strategy in mind, it is usually an extension of normal hostile reactions going through the sequence of:  (1) Arguing (2) Hostile silence (3) Restricted communication (4) No communication (5) Hostile action

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for highlighting parental alienation in your post. This destructive family dynamic affects countless parents, children and extended family members every year. Only through awareness and education can we save parents and children from this heartbreak.

    For more information about parental alienation you and your readers can visit http://www.afamilysheartbreak.com.