Take A Village...
This article you're about
to read has nothing to do with the war in Iraq and Saddam Hussein's regime.
This article is about a different kind of a war. It's about a war that has been going
on for years in the homes of many children. This kind of war is expressed in
the psychologist's office. It's a war that goes on between two adults who are
divorced or separated, and the children who are stuck in the middle.
A friend called me needing
my support and advice.
"I don't understand," he voiced. "I've not seen my children for days, weeks,
months," he continued.
"You haven't?" I responded. "Why?"
"No, I haven't ," he exclaimed. "Their mother is at it again."
As he further explained I
realized his two children are suffering from what the private practitioner from
New York, Richard A. Gardner calls the "Parental Alienation Syndrome."
The concept of PAS is when one parent damages and destroys the previously healthy,
loving relationship between his or her children and the children's other parent.
Now, why would a parent do something like that to harm her/his children? Probably
because that parent has unresolved issues, psychological and emotional, stemming
from her/his childhood years. I believe for balanced children both parents should
participate in the children's upbringing in order to ensure the children's normal,
healthy emotional growth and development. But if one parent is "bad" then the
children suffer. I say "bad" because not all mentally ill people are "bad" and
not all "bad" people are mentally ill. Somehow society has labeled bad behavior
with mental illness. Yet, I have witnessed that's not necessarily true. My friend
who called and was concerned about his children needed to understand that his
ex-wife somewhere in her childhood years felt abandoned physically and/or emotionally
by her father or some other significant male figure. Her own fear of abandonment
created chaos because she feared being alone. She would do anything and everything
to keep the old feelings away even keeping her children emotionally hostage
for her own benefit. In return the children feel responsible to take care of
their mother. The children have feelings for the other parent but they side
with the suffering dependent parent because she comes across as the victim.
I told my friend that as long as his ex-wife keep his children angry at him and his
family, the easier it becomes for the children to stay angry and continue without
any contact. "What do I do?" he vehemently voiced. "Will they ever figure things
out on their own?" he questioned. "I'm getting the silent treatment," he continued.
"Your children can benefit from therapy but if therapy is not something your
ex-wife promotes then your children would be confused and angry." I voiced.
"I don't want to do what she does and I don't want to be controlled by her through
my children," he stated. "Brain washing my children is so unhealthy," he cried.
"It sounds like your children are also carrying their mother's anger," I replied.
When one parent attempts to cut the other parent out of the children's life,
the children suffer. In this case the mother aimed at destroying the father's
position as a loving and responsible parent by using false accusations and lies.
Again, why would a parent hurt her own children? Because it was done to her
and she continues the vicious cycle due to her own anger and unresolved issues.
Adults need to accept personal responsibility and stop blaming their ex-spouse
for their childhood traumas. When adults act out their damages, the children
pay the price. If we want peace in the world we first need to exhibit peace
in our children's lives and to be able to do that we need to find peace within
ourselves and take responsibility to heal our broken parts, emotionally and
It really doesn't take a village to raise a child. It takes a loving home.
NOTE: to all the parents out
there who are separated or divorced or are going through a divorce, no matter
how angry you are with your ex-spouse please remember never stick your child/children
in the middle because some scars can be detrimental and hard to repair.