Indeed, children must be kept safe from parents who are physically, sexually, or emotionally abusive. There are also times when children should not spend time with their parents due to the parents’ addictive behaviors that could put the children at risk, for example: driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Sadly there are a significant number of children who become alienated from one parent due to adult behavior, which is consciously or unconsciously motivated to interfere and often ruin the child’s relationship with their other parent. Most commonly, this occurs when one parent becomes so angry and hurt at their former spouse that they seek to use any means possible to harm the other party, and the nuclear weapon at his/her disposal is the child or children. The alienation or “undue influence” can range from very subtle to blatantly obvious. In all cases, it can cause extreme damage to the child-parent relationship and the child alone. Without a doubt, this is one of the most challenging and complex situations a child can find him or herself. “A 12-year-old child once shared that often it felt as if his parents had tied his arms to the back bumper of their cars and were speeding away in different directions”.
This work is not to be confused with a Forensic Evaluation. This work is about helping your children make and maintain healthy and viable relationships with both parents, regardless of their parents’ personal feelings about each other.