Since Father’s Day was just this past weekend, I thought I would post about something we all should be more aware of. Being a person in a relationship with someone who has a child that has been withheld and watching that battle is one of the most painful things you can imagine. Remember, it is not the child’s fault that you and your partner split up, so why would you make them suffer?
Parental alienation – is the process, and the result, of the psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent or other family members.
This happens all the time. It happened while I was growing up, for sure. Although I was lucky to have my Dad, my Step Dad and my Grandfather be parts of my life, it was not without struggle. (Mind you, I am not putting blame on my parents, they did the best that they could.) There were so much ill feelings toward each other (well the parents at least) that those hateful words filled the walls of our house.
If we brought the parent up, it was like turning on the faucet full stream. I never understood what exactly was happening back then, but as I grew up I could see their hatred like cobwebs in the corners of every room. Not always unwarranted, but honestly, just never my business to hear about.
I can tell you now from being on both sides of this, it is unacceptable! If you are a parent, you co-parent with your partner. You talk to each other about the plans, you treat each other with respect, and you NEVER use the child against the other. Hell, it may even be good to do a family dinner once in a while to show that you are a united front.
When we first went through our custody battle (which I spoke about in this post), we found out so many things that were being done that we just were not aware of. Neglect, abuse, and living in an unacceptable home. We had no idea! To our daughter, it had become what she was used to and to us, we never got near the house when we picked her up. It was all hidden.
But then after we lost, then the big doozies came! Our daughter was told that we were not involved, that we never tried, that we would cut her off from her sister…all lies. Thankfully, we talked with our daughter and had the court documents to back us up.
I can’t say that this hasn’t caused life long issues. I can’t say that our relationship would be completely different if all the nasty things that were said about the Hubs weren’t said. I don’t know because that is not what happened. I do know that we work on it still to this day. That sometimes talking is hard because we don’t have the practice. That sometimes it is easier not to try because it is o awkward. But we do it anyway. Our relationship is too important to give up now. Did the Hubs do everything right? No, he didn’t. But, he also wasn’t given much of a chance!
Now, I am not saying that there aren’t deadbeat dads out there! There are, and I know quite a few myself! But I also know real men that think of their child(ren) as their whole world. That consider it an honor to be a daddy and would do anything to be a part of their child(ren)’s life.
There is a movement right now and I encourage you all to become a part of it. It is called the “Fathers Rights Movement“. Here is their mission statement:
As a collective movement, we are passionate about empowering fathers to stand up for their rights and to educate the public and family court system about the importance of fathers in society, as well as bring greater awareness to the imbalance and injustice that effects the rights of fathers.
Everyday, fathers are losing their rights and contact with their children due to outdated biases that diminishes the role and influence of a father. We are here in support of fellow fathers and families that suffer from this injustice, to share your stories, to connect you with the proper resources to overcome your blocks, and to inspire our society to address the issues in our family court system that is hindering child development and damaging the family unit.
We aim to collect valuable, helpful resources and tools that will further enable fathers to regain and retain their rights, as well as gather any available data and research that offers greater insight into the importance of fathers and the effect of father-absent homes.
Our mission includes bringing the community of fathers together as a unified social force aimed at restoring society’s ideals of the father and strengthening the connection each father has to their children.
The thing is, this is not about ALL fathers, this is about those that are fighting for their children. And if a father is putting up a fight, I think he must be trying to do what’s right for his child(ren).
Please spread the word on these two topics. Please lend a hand to those parents you know that are struggling to find their way through a separation. Do you know someone that is having their child(ren) turned against them? Do you know someone that is fighting to be in their child(ren)’s life?