Parental Alienation Day – A Sad Reminder of Divorce Gone Wrong for the Children

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April 25th is the sixth annual recognition of Parental Alienation Day. It is a time for all divorced parents to reflect on their relationship with their former spouse and think about how it may be subtly or overtly affecting the emotional and psychological well-being of their children. Parental Alienation is a toxic consequence of divorce that can be remedied at any time on behalf of the children involved.

April 25th is the sixth annual recognition of Parental Alienation Day. It is a time for all divorced parents to reflect on their relationship with their former spouse and how it may be subtly or overtly affecting the emotional and psychological well-being of their children.

Parental Alienation – when one or both divorcing parents attempts to negatively influence their children about the other parent – is one of the most terrible outcomes of a divorce gone bad. It’s a difficult and complex subject, but the outcome is always the same. Children who are emotionally scarred.

Rosalind Sedacca, founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, is a Divorce Coach and author of the internationally acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children -- with Love! She strongly speaks out about the negative consequences when parents try to implement alienation in any of its forms.

“When you mix two egos with dramatically differing perspectives, you’re bound to get an entanglement of emotions compounded by allegations, defensiveness and self-righteousness,” notes Sedacca. “Unfortunately, no one wins when parental alienation runs its course during and after a divorce. But it’s the children in particular who lose in a big way. Many of them are affected for life.”

Sedacca explains that behind parental alientation are parents who feel totally justified in hating, resenting or otherwise distancing themselves from their former spouse. They fail to take into account how this might psychologically play out in an innocent child who naturally loves both parents. Backed by the strength of their convictions, these parents feel validated in negatively influencing their children’s attitude toward the other parent. Whether its overt put-downs, disparaging comments or more subtle nuances of disdain, they make it clear that they do not like, respect or trust the other parent. The message to the children creates confusion mixed with anxiety, insecurity, guilt and fear.

What’s a child to do when one of their parents says the other parent -- who is genetically a part of them -- is bad, wrong, hateful, or not worthy of their love? How should a child handle the burden of learning “truths” about their other parent that only an adult can comprehend? Who can a child turn to when Mom is putting down Dad (or vice versa) and it makes them angry, frightened or resentful?

According to Sedacca, parents need to think before they act. They need to look ahead to the consequences before they share secrets that no child should have to know – before they take the innocence of childhood from children who are totally powerless to fix adult problems. They need seek the counsel of professionals who can dispassionately help them make the right decision on their children’s behalf. Then they need to work on healing themselves.

A good source for finding qualified and compassionate divorce professionals is the new DivorceCures.com Directory. Professionals, including collaborative law and other divorce attorneys, mediators, therapists, divorce coaches and divorce financial planners, listed at DivorceCures.com have taken the Kids Come First Coalition pledge to put the child’s best interests first in any divorce interaction. Sedacca recommends that parents seek out these child-centered professionals who will steer them away from behaviors and decisions that create parental alienation or other negative psychological effects on the innocent children of divorce.

Sedacca’s advice: “Parental alienation is a sure way to risk alienating your children from you – if not today, in the years and decades ahead. When making decisions about your divorce, child custody issues, visitations, holiday celebrations and all the day-to-day activities that fill our busy lives, remember to be a parent first. Put aside your personal feelings about your former spouse. Stop – and see that other parent from your child’s perspective – as the Mom or Dad they deeply love.”

To access the new Divorce Cures Directory parents are invited to visit: http://www.divorcecures.com. To receive Sedacca’s free ebook, Post-Divorce Parenting: Success Strategies for Getting It Right, as well as her free weekly ezine, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? and other valuable resources for parents, go to: http://www.childcentereddivorce.com.

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