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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 05-10-2011, 09:20 PM
Mess Mess is offline
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Default Globe and Mail article on Parental Alienation

Diagnosing divorce: Should parental alienation be a mental disorder?

Quote:
When a divorced parent disses an ex in front of a child, the kid gets caught in a tug-of-war. But that’s not all. In extreme cases, poisoning a child’s mind against a parent can cause a mental illness, according to an Aurora, Ont.-based group called the Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome.

At an upcoming conference in Montreal, the CSPAS is calling for the syndrome’s inclusion in the first complete revision since 1994 of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – a.k.a. the psychiatric bible – due for publication in May, 2013.
Interesting links in the article to both sides of the debate on PAS.
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2011, 10:00 PM
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Gary M Gary M is offline
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There is no "... can cause ..." about it: Kids are vulnerable and need every bit of security we can provide for them at the best of times ... hitting them with the opposite ("Daddy left you guys because he doesn't love you and he wants to replace you with someone else's kids") during a divorce can't do anything BUT cause a mental illness.

My kids have been in counselling for years now because of this.

Uh, yeah, um... I guess I feel pretty strongly about this subject....

Cheers!

Gary

Last edited by Gary M; 05-10-2011 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:55 AM
fireweb13 fireweb13 is offline
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Unfortunatly it is such a large spectrum, it ranges from parents who do it subconsciensly where they are just saying things without thinking, to parents who are really trying to make sure the kids know that the other parent is horrible and make the kids hate the other parent. My daughter is on her 3rd "Daddy boyfriend" with my ex, our OCL report says that my ex told our daughter that Daddy M is her real daddy.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:19 PM
Lorac Lorac is offline
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I remember when my son and daughter-in-law separated/divorced. They had one child a boy. My daughter-in-law and I have always remained in touch and she has kept (thankfully) my grandson in my life.
I've only ever given her one piece of advice...Please don't put my son down in front of my grandson. By doing this it's like telling him that 1/2 of him is bad. After hearing me say this she totally agreed and never did. I told her there would come a day when " " could judge for himself about his feelings toward my son whether they be good or bad, they would be his feelings.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:37 PM
FrustratedPartner FrustratedPartner is offline
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I am a product of extreme parental alienation from both sides. It really screws you up. You feel protective of the parent you love and disgusted by the parent you hate. Then, if the parent you love doesn't live up to your needs, you feel betrayal and abandonment.

Not good emotions for a child.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:50 PM
smileandwalkaway smileandwalkaway is offline
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YES... Agreed!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorac View Post
I remember when my son and daughter-in-law separated/divorced. They had one child a boy. My daughter-in-law and I have always remained in touch and she has kept (thankfully) my grandson in my life.
I've only ever given her one piece of advice...Please don't put my son down in front of my grandson. By doing this it's like telling him that 1/2 of him is bad. After hearing me say this she totally agreed and never did. I told her there would come a day when " " could judge for himself about his feelings toward my son whether they be good or bad, they would be his feelings.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:18 PM
DowntroddenDad DowntroddenDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrustratedPartner View Post
I am a product of extreme parental alienation from both sides. It really screws you up. You feel protective of the parent you love and disgusted by the parent you hate. Then, if the parent you love doesn't live up to your needs, you feel betrayal and abandonment.

Not good emotions for a child.
Long story but my access was "Liberal" and not fixed, given all the kids were 14 and over. My ex had already done a number on them, and I knew I wouldn't win fixed in court at that time.

Fast forward to now, 2 years after separation, and my ex kicked my son, who is now 19 out.

I have told him he needs to maintain a relationship with his mother, but that it is up to him to decide what that relatioship is. At first he thought I was insisting he put up with anything(she said some nasty and untrue things about him when she kicked him out, and I was there to hear it). But I have had to have frank discussions with him. He does need to maintain communication, if for no other reason than the effect it would have on the sisters still liing with their mom. But he doesn't have to accept abuse.

I try hard not to insert myself into the fight. I will listen but not judge since I haven't heard both sides. My ex on the other hand texts me very slanted things when they are fighting.

Yesterday they fought again, but managed to work it out and apologise before it went too far.

I mention this because I believe its absolutely necessary to be scrupulously neutral about the other parent. And sometimes that conflicts with being a parent.

My daughters talk about their mom's upcoming wedding and are very excited. I wouldn't dare suggest that they only met 5 months ago and that it was her first separation relationship. Its none of my business, and more importantly it would create conflict if I say anything. I will support my daughters in any way I can, including biting my tongue.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:35 PM
FrustratedPartner FrustratedPartner is offline
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My kids are still very young so I have not had to deal with all that just yet. But I can definitely see the challenges.

In my case, my dad started the alienation against my mom when I was a toddler and it continued through my parents' separation and divorce (when I was 13) and still continues to this day. My dad rejoices when I fight with my mom so I don't share much with him anymore.

On my mom's side, in all fairness to her, she kept things neutral. But it was her parents who, once my parents separated, started the campaign of hate against my dad. It was brutal, absolutely brutal. The first year my parents separated they sent me on vacation with my grandparents and they spent the ENTIRE two weeks complaining (in very harsh, disgusting terms) about my father. After that, my father would not let me see my grandparents and that just added to the isolation and fear that accompanies divorce for a kid.

Fast forward 30+ years and my grandparents still can't let up. They are almost 100 but their favourite topic is my loser of a father. I can't disagree with them anymore unfortunately.

In reality, they all suck but in the end my kids will win because they won't ever have to put up with that in my household (and hopefully not their dad's either).
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:19 PM
Pursuinghappiness Pursuinghappiness is offline
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Frustrated: I think my youngest child really has a hard time sometimes negotiating things between me and her father. I am trying to make things as easy as possible for her in my own house but I know he isn't doing the same. She doesn't say much to me but my new partner is a confidante for her and she tells him that her dad yells at her for things that she can't do anything about....ie, the presence of my new partner, me choosing to divorce him etc. He comes from a large family and recently she never wants to go to his family's events. I'm pretty sure its because they badmouth me there and it gets her upset. I can't control that but a couple of times he's asked me to switch the schedule so he can take her to family parties...and my D never wants to go when I ask her, so I just decided to start saying no. Once I pushed her to go with him and she literally didn't talk to me for 2 days. I don't do that anymore.

My new partners ex-wife tried to do something similar but the children are older. She would call her oldest D and lament that she had divorced friends who would never talk to their father anymore and she wishes her kids supported her that way. She actively started a campaign against my partner when he chose to divorce her...saying that he was leaving the family. His response was simply to remind the kids that he was only divorcing their mother and to continue to visit the kids on the same schedule. After a while, they started standing up for their dad on their own when their mother would verbally attack him. In time, it all finally calmed down and things seem to be quite civil on all fronts these days. I've been at a few events with her and enjoy talking to her...she's a pleasant person to talk to.

Its truly a shame to add to the burden a kid already has when transitioning through a divorce. I constantly praise my kid about what a wonderful job she's done with all the change she's had lately. I wish I could do something to make things easier when she's at her dad's house but its very much out of my hands. I'm hoping that in time things will improve.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:29 PM
SadAndTired SadAndTired is offline
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One more label to apply to children. A child could be labelled as having a mental disorder because they could be affected by PAS?

Yikes. This seems like one of those issues that 10 years from now will be debunked.

I think there are too many factors to simply say PAS should be a mental disorder.

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome
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