By Sam Vigil
When your child’s behavior changes and is interfering with her development she may be struggling with anxiety. The behaviors that are interfering with her development and singles that she is having difficulty coping are clinginess, over-dependence, shyness, withdrawing, fearfulness, recklessly fearless, and uneasiness in social situations. Anxiety can affect them negatively in a number of areas, such as, academically because it makes it difficult to focus, socially a child does not conduct herself in a manner congruent with situations, and over or under reacts to social issues. Anxiety can physically affect them with abdominal pains and irregular bowel movements, chest pains and irregular respiratory and heart rate, and headaches and dizziness. Psychologically it can cause fearfulness, hopelessness, loneliness, and nightmares.
Anxiety is perceived fear of danger triggered by traumatic events, consistent stressors, and distorted beliefs. The fear stems from is feeling alone because a friend moved away, someone close has died, uncertainty of wellbeing due to divorce, and pressure from parental alienation. If you are going through a divorce, custody battle, or parental alienation is present evaluate your motives for helping your child through anxiety. Your cause should be to help her and not to align her to your side of the battle or to hurt your ex-partner. Resist the temptation of criticizing or blaming her for the difficulty your child is going through. Keep the conflict between you and your ex.
Use sound reasoning, discernment, and be equipped with are an understanding of her temperament and the developmental stage she is in. This will help you determine the best approach in helping her. Do not be judgmental of the way your child is feeling. This will only exasperate her anxiety and will stymie your effort. Remember her feelings are real. Once you have determined that your motive is to help her through anxiety you need to be prepared to put in the time and effort with patients.
Start by providing an environment where she feels safe to express herself freely. Then listen to her carefully without interruptions to her statement for fears and concern that may be under the surface; unless you need clarification, and then acknowledge her feelings with empathy. This will indicate that you care and build her trust to confidently approach you for support. In addition, help her with critical thinking to come up with solutions in handling anxiety in the future. If she perceives that you are not truly there for her she may become resentful and withdraw from you making it harder to help. While helping your child through her anxiety, developmental stage, and critical thinking allow her to go through the process at her own pace. Give her the time to cope. Rushing her will just add anxiety to her concerns and hinder her development.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com/Help Your Child Through Anxiety
she’s on the warpath about the multitude of punishments non-custodial parents are subject to for missing a payment. As I and many others have said before, those punitive measures make no sense because they prevent what they claim to promote – payment of child support.
via Fathers & Families.
By Sam Vigil
Mental health experts agree the attempt to sever a child’s bond with a parent is emotionally abusive. If you are being denied visitation and access to your children without cause you may be dealing with a form of child abuse coined as Parental Alienation by Dr. Richard A. Gardner. This is when a parent manipulates the child to turn against the other parent. So if severing the bond is emotionally abusive then Parental Alienation is child abuse and must be recognized to effectively counter it.
At a minimum the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act defines child abuse and neglect as any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caregiver which results in death, serious physical injury or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.
In the context of the relationship between the child and an alienating parent we will use a further definition of the act defining abuse as a repetitive patter of the parent’s behavior or extreme incidences that convey to the children that they are worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value in meeting the needs of others.
There are many behaviors in Parental Alienation that are emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually abusive towards children who are exposed to a parent who wants to turn them against the other parent.
Amy J.L. Baker who has over eighteen years experience in researching parent-child relationships and children’s wellbeing list seven observable tactics used in Parental Alienation that are forms of abuse. They are verbal assault, isolation, corruption, rejection, terrorizing, ignoring, and over pressurizing. These tactics are used for persuading the children to complying with the alienating parent’s wishes.
The parent’s dominating desires are to hurt the target by getting the children to reject him, and for them to demonstrate their absolute loyalty to her by rejecting the target parent. When there is no compliance with their wishes the alienating parent feels disrespected and will often increases the intensity of the alienation.
In the process of denying the target parent’s involvement with their children the alienating parent disregards the needs of the children to have the target in their lives and the emotional pain it causes them not to receive their love. The giving and receiving of love between a parent and child is a vital component in developing and maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship and the development of the child’s self-esteem.
For example when Vincent separated from his wife, Lynn because of her constant accusation of him having an affair and their inability to resolve the dispute; he decides it is best to move out leaving their daughters, Elisabeth and Kate with their mother to minimize disruption in their lives and the anxiety the fighting is causing them.
Lynn’s suspicions arose from a comment she overheard by a coworker of his, Andrea made on how attractive he is. Though there is no evidence to support her claim she equates the comment as proof that they are having an affair. As she thinks on the distorted view she accepts it as true. This causes her pain and she vows that he will pay for hurting her.
After moving out Vincent dropped by on a daily bases to spend time with his daughters and made a habit of calling them at bedtime to tell them that he loves them and wish them a good night.
Lynn became jealous of Elisabeth, Kate, and their father relationship as she watched the affection they have for each other. Cultivating resentment she rationalized her feelings that his involvement in their lives is a ploy to win them over, and turn them against her to make it will be easier for him to gain custody. Under the surface she fears loosing her identity as a parent if she looses custody.
Because of her insecurities, Lynn continually bad-mouthed their father in front of Elisabeth and Kate, repeatedly telling them their father moved out because he does not want to be with you or love you. He only cares about himself and only comes around so he can look good in front of his family and friends. She would follow-up with, “If he really cared and loved you he would not have left you.”
Believing that Vincent deserves to be punished for his infidelity Lynn also denied him access to the children as a consequence for cheating on her.
This angered Vincent causing him to be argumentative, demanding of Lynn that she respect his parental rights and not to deny him the right to be involved with the children and their right to be a part of his. With each progressive argument Lynn’s resolve strengthened to keep the girls away from him.
Because of Vincent’s insistence on having access to his daughters Lynn obtained a restraining order of protection from court, legally forcing him to stay away or face jail time for contempt of court. This strategy effectively isolated Elisabeth and Kate from their father. The lack of access to his children prevented Vincent from correcting any misconceptions they may have about the separation, how he feels about them, and why he moved.
Successfully isolating the girls from their father, Lynn also influenced them to emotionally distance themselves from him by repetitiously telling them that he abandoned them because he does not care or love you, conveniently leaves out the restraining order for the reason of his absents. The underline message is he is not worthy of their love because of his rejection of them. In addition to hurting Vincent, Lynn emotionally abused her children to cover up her jealousy of the attention they receive from him and the fear of loosing custody of them and never seeing them again.
The tactics of Parental Alienation are psychologically and emotionally painful for children to deal with. Seeing themselves as not loved, valued, wanted and cared for. This effects their self-esteem because they often feel that the parent’s absents is their fault.
They can be tormented by the thought that the alienating parent hates the parts of them which resemble the target parent. They feel in order to receive love and be of value to the alienating parent they must bury any affection they have for the target parent and reject that parent. They fear if they do not satisfy the alienating parent’s emotional needs they will be treated like a traitor and be mistreated like the target parent.
Accepting these views can also cause them the destructive beliefs that something is wrong with them to be denied the affection of love from a parent. Feeling rejected by a parent hurts them and diminishes their perception on how they are valued by others causing emotional havoc as they mature.
Under the ploy of needing protection from their father, Lynn causes unnecessary anxiety for Elisabeth and Kate while dissolving the bond they have with their father so she could hurt him for his cheating on her.
Parental Alienation is child abuse because it breaks down healthy parent-child boundaries which give children the framework to discover who they are and are not. The boundaries are vital for children to develop a solid self-esteem. They are the foundation to protect self-worth, experience empowerment, freedom to choose, and encourage them to take responsibility and ownership of their lives as they grow up.
Final note: Helping children to cope with Parental Alienation and resist the tactics should be done with the assistance of a qualified mental health professional this will help them make sense of why the alienating parent wants to sever the bond they have with the other parent.
It is important to obtain a therapist who is familiar with Parental Alienation, high conflict custody disputes, and court procedures. This will significantly expedite court hearings and treatment and a component of therapy should be to have a discussion of the different types of abuse there is to determine which ones apply. Once a determination is made then a treatment plan can be implicated so the healing can begin.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
By Sam Vigil
When people manipulate you to get their way at the expense of your wants, needs, well being, and disregard the boundaries of the relationship between the two of you is a strong indicator of Emotional Blackmail.
There are six stages in the cycle that comprises the extortion:
1. The demand
In a quest for satisfying their desires, the blackmailer puts the process in motion with a demand which defrauds and compromises yours or another person’s self-respect, integrity, well being, and boundaries.
Because complying with the demand violates the target’s integrity there is usually resistance to maintain and keep their self-esteem in tact.
With the show of resistance the blackmailer will put the pressure on the target by making them feel fearful, obligated, and guilty for noncompliance and continue the aggravation until they submit. They will use the fact that they did such and such for you implying that you owe them for the favor. They will also play the; if you love me, you would do this for me, card. When you honor your integrity and do not submit to their demands they will often increase the pressure with threats; such as, if you do not do this for me I will leave you and take the kids with me and you will never see them again. Or, they may make tantalizing promises to coerce you into submitting. Like a job promotion and in the context of divorce the custodial parent promises the non-custodial parent extra time with the children often in conjunction with threats to keep them from the target. After they get what they want they normally do not keep their promises. Regardless of which tactic is used you are being emotionally attacked in an attempt to coerce you into giving in and satisfying their desires.
Because the fears of the imposed or implied consequences are too overpowering for them, the tantalizing promises made will be withdrawn, or the blackmailer will ignores them causing them to feel rejected and unloved. The target, often finds themselves giving in to the pressure.
Complying is the exchange the target makes to suppress the anxiety, keep the peace, be in good standings with the blackmailer, and have the hope that their needs might be respected. The reason they compromise their values is to obtain a sense of self-worth though distorted and a false sense of security. By capitulating the target is able to temporally quiet down their anxiety only to find themselves in the same position the next time they resist.
Recognizing the traits of emotional blackmail and the components of the manipulation cycle are important to effectively deal with the compromising demands and the extortionist. Failing to correct the exploitation will only encourage the perpetrator to repeat the tactics, until you put a stop to it.
You are a target of emotional blackmail if any of the following apply to get your compliance.
1. The blackmailer threatens to harm or make your life difficult.
2. Threatens to end the relationship with you.
3. Implies it will be your fault if they become depressed and warn you that they will neglect and harm themselves if they do not get what they want.
4. Believe you will submit.
5. When you meet their demands they always want more.
6. Consistently discount your personal boundaries, wants, needs, and feelings.
7. Sway you with promises that are dependent on your subordination which are rarely kept.
8. Constantly bad-mouth and label you as self-centered, unappreciative, uncaring, and greedy.
9. Ignore you with silent contempt until you satisfy their wants.
10. Shower you with affection when you give in and deny it when you resist.
11. Use money to gain compliance with bribes or by restricting you access to the cash.
12. In my opinion the worst perpetuator of emotional blackmail are those who use children as an emotional weapon in parental alienation and highly conflicted custody battles to get their counter part to react negatively and use the targets behavior to turn the children against them and increase their chances of gaining custody. They will spotlight the behavior in court to persuade the Judge to rule in their favor. Not only do they disrespect you they also disregard the children’s well being.
We all use manipulation to get desired results and negotiate life. It becomes Emotional Blackmail when your sense of fear, obligation, and guilt are used in coercion with the demand in order to get you to concede.
You need to identify if the demand makes you experience fear, obligation, and/or guilt. If so, be aware of why it makes you feel anxious.
1. Is it because it goes against your values and self-respect?
2. Is your well being disregarded when they want their needs meet?
3. Do you give in order to keep the peace or to feed your own insecurities?
The key to alleviate the anxiety is realizing what emotions the demands triggers in you, identifying why it causes you to feel the way you do, and recognizing that your well being is being disregarded.
Understanding why you give in to the manipulation and why it causes you to compromise yourself will give you direction in correcting how you respond in limiting the extortion and setting healthy boundaries with the blackmailer by stating your needs, wants, and boundaries without threats if they are violated, even if there is conflict with the request.
A request in its-self does not constitute emotional blackmail. It transitions into extortion when pressure is put forth to the sense of fear, obligation, and guilt to get compliance from another person. The question is whether they will respect the wants and needs of the person, and honor the boundaries of the relationship or not.
You must acknowledge the traits of being exploited and the anxiety it is causing you in order to set boundaries that will put the relationship on a more solid foundation or sever the dysfunctional relationship from the person who disrespect and emotionally abuses you to get their way.
Maintain your integrity Keep your self-respect. Be true to yourself.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
By Sam Vigil
Are you being denied your right to be involved in your child’s life without justification?
Is your child treated negatively by the other parent when he or she shows any affection towards you or expresses a desire to spend time with you?
Does your child disrespect, reject, and avoid you without good reason?
If the answer is yes to any of the questions, you may be dealing with Parental Alienation and probably Parental Alienation Syndrome if you answered yes to the last question. If the answer is yes to all three you are most likely right in the middle of it.
You need to know the differences between the two and how they relate to each other so you can know what you are dealing with. This will help you on what best course of action to take to combat the alienation and get back into your child’s life.
Do you know the difference between the two and how they relate to each other?
It is important to know and understand what you are dealing with so you can have a clear picture of what is going on. Once you have this understanding you will be better equipped to deal with it. This will help you to make the decision on what is the best course of action to combat alienation and get back into your child’s life.
To get a better understanding we need to first define Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome to know what they are, what the differences are, and how they relate to each other.
o Parental Alienation (P.A.) is the alienating parent’s negative behaviors toward the child and targeted parent. These constellations of behaviors whether conscious or unconscious disrupt the relationship between the child and the target parent.
Both men and women are capable of P.A. and it occurs in broken families and intact families as well.
o Parental Alienation Syndrome (P.A.S.) occurs when a parent engages and successfully manipulates a child to turn against the other parent. This causes a disturbance in which the child is preoccupied with denigrating the targeted parent. The depreciation and criticism toward the targeted parent is seldom justified and often exaggerated.
Once the child adopts the distorted views of the alienating parent about the target parent and actively participates in defaming him Parental Alienation is transformed into Parental Alienation Syndrome.
This is the point when it becomes tribal warfare; them against the common enemy, the target parent.
The primary manifestations of the campaign to denigrate the target parent results from a combination of the alienating parent’s indoctrination and programming the child to denigrate the target and the child’s own contributions in denigrating that parent.
It needs to be noted that P.A.S is not applicable for any animosity the child has towards a parent from the result of abuse and/or neglect. The hostilities the child has are then justified. P.A.S. is only valid when a child rejects a parent without the justification of abuse, neglect or both and is under the influence of the alienator who encourages the alienation.
With P.A. you need to address the alienator’s behavior and with P.A.S. you have to reprove and correct the child’s bad behavior. You will find that both usually have to be addressed simultaneously.
Though Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome are related to each other it is important to distinguish the difference between them and how they relate to each other. It will set the course of action you need to take to reunite and remain in your child’s life.
P.A is when a parent manipulates and programs the child to turn against the target parent. It transforms into P.A.S. when a child adopts the distorted reality of the alienating parent, rejects the target and actively participates in denigrating him.
Knowing the differences will give you better insight on what course of action to take to increase your chances to be involved in your child’s life.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
By Sam Vigil
Parental Alienation; the programming of a child by a parent to turn the child against the other parent has three levels of alienation mild, moderate, and severe. As the alienation increases the negative behavior of the children towards the targeted parent also increases. The percentage of children having access and parenting time (visitation) with the alienated parent decreases.
In a case study of thirty highly conflicted divorce and custody cases, submitted by the courts involving fifty nine children was evaluated to determine the existence of Parental Alienation Syndrome. This is when the child aligns with the alienating parent, adopts their views, joins in the defaming of the target parent and rejects that parent citing frivolous and irrational reasoning. Countering Parental Alienation Syndrome will take the knowledge of Parental Alienation and finesse.
This must be confronted to increase the chances for the target parent in reuniting and maintaining a meaningful relationship with their children. Janelle Burrill compiled, analyzed and evaluated the data for one year (2000-2001) from the cases that were submitted from a two year period (1998-2000). In the study twenty two children were listed under the mild alienation category, seventeen in the moderate category, and twenty in the severe.
The children listed under the mild alienation category show that eighty two percent of them expressed affection for the targeted parent. None of them had any anger towards or denigrated (disrespect and reject) the parent. Ninety five percent had parenting-time with the target. With mild alienation there is some cynicism of the target parent. This generally arises from a persons lack of restraint in making negative remarks about the target. They tend to react in this manner when they are hurt, angry, and feel personally attacked. For example, when parents first separate mom is feeling anxious and will implicitly convey to the children that their father is a bad person suggesting that it is not safe to be with him. She may say something to the effect of, “If you get scared or are not having fun call me right away and I will come and get you and bring you home.”
Dad may say something like, “Remember to tell your mother that you want to spend more time with me,” Suggesting that their mom is trying to separate them from each other. Generally, this behavior from the parents is done so they can look like they are the better parent to be with and that something is wrong with the other one.
In the scenario with mom the children start to question if they are safe to be with their father. With dad they can start to believe their mother is trying to estrange them from their dad. Usually when you point out the alienation to the alienating parent they feel ashamed that their behavior is negatively affecting the children and that they did not have enough self-control to refrain from distributing alienation.
Parents and children in this category normally have a good relationship. The parents who hands out the alienation usually are unaware they are doing it. It is a behavior that has not been addressed so it can be corrected. These parents are usually willing to modify their behavior to benefit the children. The recognizable denigration traits in mild alienation are sighing in disapproval, rolling the eyes in contempt, ignoring, disrespect, snide or sarcastic remarks, and defaming the target parent. To defuse the alienation explain to the children why people will make those kinds of gestures and bad-mouth another person. Let them know it comes from when they feel disrespected, rejected, hurt by a person, and that they lack self-control and respond in undesirable ways to validate themselves.
In the moderate alienation category the percentage of children who had parenting-time with the target parent drops significantly from ninety five percent down to sixty five percent. The same percentage of children also expressed affection for the target parent with fifty nine percent of them expressing anger towards the target and joining in the denigration of that parent.
With moderate alienation the alienating parents have difficulty keeping their composer when thing do not go their way or feel threatened. Like the belief their counterpart is trying to take the children away from them. They will increase the alienation when their anxiety escalates in an effort to keep what they perceive is rightfully theirs. When they lose control they go ballistic disregarding appropriate boundaries, including the fear their behavior produces in the children.
When, they calm down the alienating parent has a hard time taking responsibility for their actions. But, there is hope. Some of these parents in this category can be persuaded to develop their self-control with anger management, therapy, and parenting classes. These parents love their children and want to be a good parent and be viewed as one. But rarely will they volunteer to get help. They blame the other parent for their problems and believe the other parent is the problem.
If they do not modify their behavior then the only remedy is to get a court order for therapy and treatment. With moderately alienated children are hesitant to spend time with the target parent. They have some fear of the target parent due to the alienating parents repeatedly defaming the target in an effort to get the children to get to accept their views about the target parent and to align with them.
To remedy this level of alienation with the children there needs to be an environment where they feel safe and comfortable with the target parent. A therapist can arrange to provide for this. The parent then need to listen to the children without being judgmental, empathize with their feeling, acknowledge their concerns, and let them know the conflict is between the parents and they do not have to choose either parents side. They should not have to reject one parent to please the other parent. They should be able to love both without having a loyalty conflict.
Bring to the attention of the alienating parent the harmful effects the alienation is having on the children because they are conflicted on how to please both parents without displeasing either one of them. Moderate alienation ascends from emotional charged events. The parent feels they have been wronged and react destructively. Afterwards they are embarrassed of their behavior and might be willing to work on not involving the children to even the score for the wrong they believe was done to them. If there is unsatisfactory improvement and willingness on the part of the alienating parent in correcting their behavior, which is often the case, the target will need to get a court order for family counseling and treatment.
In the severe alienation category forty five percent of the children expressed affection for the target parent, ninety percent had anger towards the target, and sixty percent join in the denigration of the parent. Only fifteen percent of the children had any parenting-time with the target parent. With severe alienation there are no-holds-barred attacks on the targets character and the alienator is obsessed with destroying the relationship the children has with the target parent to inflict emotional pain on the target. Because they have deep-rooted distorted beliefs about the target parent and operate from a delusional system of thinking they are hindered from listening to reason.
There is no effective way for treating severe alienation. To minimize the influence of the alienating parent and harm the alienation causes the children is to reduce or remove them from the care of the alienating parent which will take legal intervention. At this level of alienation the children aligns with the alienating parent, adopt their distorted views about the target, and join in the campaign to severe the relationship they have with the target parent. This is where Parental Alienation is transformed into Parental Alienation Syndrome.
A couple of signs of severe alienation are the childrens refusal to participate in parenting-time with the target parent even if it is court order, an automatic alliance with the alienating parent when conflict arises between the parents, and they join in rejecting and defaming the target parent. They back up their claims with weak, frivolous and illogical explanations, and insist that their views are their own and are not influenced by the alienating parent.
The way to counter severe alienation is to obtain a court order for a parenting plan, therapy, and participation in treatment. It is necessary to get the order so the therapist can work with the family to resolve, reduce, or at the very least stymie the alienation. At this level of alienation the alienating parent objective is to hurt the target parent by any means including using the children.
The children need to be shown that they have been exposed to the alienation, participated in the denigration, and how it negatively affects the relationship they have with the target parent. Once the cause of the children’s alienation from a parent is identified then an expert mental health professional can provide an appropriate treatment plan to reunite the parent and children. Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Parental-Alienation-Syndrome-and-How-to-Counter-Its-Three-Levels-of-Parental-Alienation&id=3815626] Parental Alienation Syndrome and How to Counter Its Three Levels of Parental Alienation