cognitive behavioural therapy; psychology; relationship counselling

Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is unbelievably common. It amazes me how grown adults put their own needs and goals ahead of the best interests of their children. A common example is where the mother asks the father for money for extra provisions (over and above the regular child maintenance) and when the father doesn’t oblige he is punished by not being allowed to see his children.

I have witnessed this professionally and personally and I cannot understand why parents are so short sighted. Denying a child the right to have a relationship with both parents is criminal in my view, unless of course there is evidence of physical or sexual abuse. Whether a parent is paying sufficiently for their child should be a separate issue. Often, when parents split, there is hurt and anger and these negative emotions get mixed in with access to children – mistake number one!

Keep finances and personal vendettas separate from access. I have been fighting my ex partner for over eight years in order to get him to pay what is fair and required by law. He has managed to fiddle the books and use tax loopholes to keep his earnings artificially lower than they really are and it as been incredibly frustrating.

At one stage, I felt so angry and powerless that I threatened to stop him seeing our son. Thankfully, I came to my senses within twenty four hours and never went through with it.

Ultimately – you have to ask yourself “Is this decision in the best interests of my child?” You may try to legitimise your actions by telling yourself that your ex partner does not deserve to see their children if they are not willing to be responsible, time-wise and financially, for their children but this thinking is erroneous.You are trying to fix a wrong with another wrong. Don’t do it.

Parental alienation can cause long term emotional issues for children. It can affect their self esteem and confidence and can have long term consequences for their adult relationships.

By all means, keep battling your ex for what you feel is right but keep access to children separate. Parental alienation has far reaching consequences and it is important to maintain perspective on what you are trying to achieve. Your children already have to cope with their parents being separated but they receive a double whammy when they are denied access to one parent.

 Do the right thing and nurture your children by allowing them to see both parents in order for them to become balanced happy adults.

Mandy X

Photo by Benjamin Manley on Unsplash