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Life Arts    H4'ed 4/25/10

Parental Alienation Day, the holiday of heartbreak

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Parental Alienation Day is one holiday that no one wants to celebrate. For many the name stirs a mild curiosity. For others, a searing pain that cuts through their very soul.

Mike Jeffries said it best on Basil & Spice when he wrote, "You won't find an e-card that says, "Happy Parental Alienation Day.' However if more people know why parents alienate a child from the child's other parent, and how damaging these behaviors are to the child, then more people can help address the problem. Awareness and education are the first steps towards change." See Parental alienation information and support.

How common is parental alienation? Four out of every 10 children whose parents don't live together haven't seen their fathers in over a year. See Why is there a fathers rights movement?.

Mothers are victims of parental alienation too. Which is why some are left scratching their heads when radical feminist domestic violence advocates and so-called "protective mother" groups film fake documentaries to convince legislators that parental alienation isn't real.

What causes parental alienation? Many things can set parental alienation in motion. From a man taking the advice of his attorney to "go after her" with everything he has, to a woman taking the advice of friends to say she's "scared of him." See VAWA funds parental child abduction. Well-meaning but misinformed people can knock separating parents off-track.

National columnist Kathleen Parker, who is pro-family court reform and a friend to fathers recently won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Fathers & Families quote Parker: "The divorce system is counterintuitive and morally bankrupt, and needs reinventing" What the organized fathers' groups want isn't wrong or mean-spirited but right and fair to children. Who among us can blame a man, wrongfully denied his own child, for shouting out that he was framed?"

Equal parenting 101: What's the best way to divorce with children?

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Teri Stoddard is a nature loving, 50-something San Francisco Bay Area native, mom of 4 and grandma to two. After a career in foster and child day care, Teri continues her child advocacy by reporting on family rights and issues affecting San (more...)
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