Background: Parental Alienation occurs in a divorce or separation when one parent, usually the custodial mother, turns the children against the other parent, usually the noncustodial father. Often this alienation takes the form of giving the children a negative impression of the father–to read one example, see the second part of my blog entry Sad Parental Alienation Case from the 1940s.
To learn more about Parental Alienation and the controversies surrounding it, see my co-authored columns Protect Children from Alienation (Providence Journal, 7/8/06) and Shockome Syndrome, or click here.
Kathy, a reader, sent me the following letter concerning a recent call to talk show host/author Dr. Laura Schlessinger:
“Today a 12-year-old girl called radio host Dr. Laura to ask whether she should contact her father, who she has not had a relationship with since she was 7. The girl told Dr. Laura that ‘my father is manipulative.’
“Dr. Laura responded: ‘Where did you hear that — your mother, your grandmother? No 12-year-old comes up with that terminology on her own.’
“Dr. Laura finally extracted the name of the culprit – the girl’s aunt. The little girl went on to say how her father had ‘forced’ her mother to buy video games and other expensive electronic devices when the family was in debt.
“The girl then mentioned that her mother left her with her aunt on the weekends so mother could go stay with her boyfriend in LA. Dr. Laura responded: ‘So your dad’s manipulative but your mom’s boyfriend is not – yeah.’ Her advice to the child was this: ‘Go stay with your dad so you can find out the truth, and maybe he’ll be around for you 7 days a week.’
“I thought the dialogue was a prime example of how parents use, and psychologically abuse, their children in order to turn them against a parent.”
I love the way Dr. Laura (pictured) immediately picked up on what was really going on, asking, “Where did you hear that — your mother, your grandmother? No 12-year-old comes up with that terminology on her own.”
Dr. Laura and I certainly do not agree on everything, but she has been generally supportive of fathers’ rights. On her radio show she supported our efforts in California to preserve the CA. Supreme Court’s LaMusga decision in 2004, and also broadcast her support for our Campaign Against ‘Boys are Stupid’ Products. In addition, she praised our campaign in her book Woman Power: Transform Your Man, Your Marriage, Your Life.
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