Did you know that Parental Alienation is a form of Child Abuse? Many people may be aware that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Monthbut they are probably not aware that April 25 is Parental Alienation Awareness Day.
A lot of people – including counselors and child advocates – may not even be aware of the term “Parental Alienation.” It happens often to children of divorce or separation.
Parental alienation occurs when one parent bad-mouths the other parent. Children know they are part-mom and part-dad and when one parent is degraded, the child will feel part of them is being put down as well.
Children are so susceptible to what they hear. When a child hears that “Daddy doesn’t love you” or “Mommy is stupid,” feelings are internalized.
Parental alienation can be more subtle as well. When Divorced Dad tries to call his child on the phone and the conversation is interrupted by Mom’s demand to “Clean your room” or “Do your homework,” the child learns to associate good feelings with Dad with unpleasant tasks or household chores.
The State Attorney General will often go after the “Deadbeat Dad” who can’t pay child support – even if his job has been downsized due to corporate greed. But the AG will do nothing if “Malicious Mother” breaks the same divorce decree and doesn’t allow the child to see his dad.
According to their website, the aim of Parental Alienation Awareness is to make judges, police officers, psychiatrists, lawyers, as well as friends and family of the people abusing their children by alienation tactics, to become aware of this growing problem and form of abuse.
With awareness comes education and understanding, and the power to stop the abuse of innocent children caught in the crossfire of people they love.
There may be an event near you that will help bring awareness to Parental Alienation (click here or here). April is National Poetry Month. Here is a poem exploring the pain left in the wake of a Move-Away Mom.
Shopping for One, Again
The mother of my sweetheart
wants to break our bond apart.
She took the object of my affection
away and caused such alienation.
Now when I go to the grocery store
I daydream, and stare at the floor.
My ex-wife moved and took our son.
And so, again, I’m shopping for one.
There’s rice crispies, and I need cereal.
But it’ll be summer before I get to see him.
I’ll just wait, that stuff will get stale
by the time he gets here; oh well.
Guess I’ll buy the jalapeno or sharp cheddar;
he won’t be here or know any better.
I reach for our usual syrup, then my eye passes
to the top shelf and I get the molasses.
He doesn’t like that sugar cane stuff, but
I ate it all the time while I was growing up.
Here’s five peaches – but I’ve forgotten,
if I get all five, they’ll just get rotten.
I start for the cool aid, then stop myself.
He’s not here. I leave it on the shelf.
There’s the toys – something he might like?
No. I’ll save my money, maybe buy a flight
to go see him a couple times a year;
not like I used to when he lived near.
His mom moved away but I don’t miss her a bit.
My heart is hamburger. I miss my kid.
The text of the article was posted several years ago at the Parental Alienation Awareness website,
The poem once appeared in the newsletter for Kids Aiding Parental Alienation Awareness Organization.