The hidden damage caused through parental alienation…

It’s hard to comprehend how, in a society which regards itself as progressive, fair and compassionate, that we currently oversee such a catastrophic breakdown in family life.

The UK presides over the highest level of family instability in the developed world. Our epidemic levels of family breakdown highlighted in a recent international analysis by the Social Trends Institute.

According to the Marriage Foundation, a quarter of all our two-year-olds and nearly half, (45%), of all teenagers are not living with both their birth parents. There are 4 million children living without the daily presence, guidance and love of both their parents.

This inevitably increases their vulnerability and strains their resilience as these children strive to cope when their personal world has just imploded. Parental separation is one of the key identified adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

There is significant evidence, however, that children can and do adapt to their post separation landscape when it is carefully supported and their parents and wider family continue to actively nurture, love and protect them.

The catastrophe we are witnessing, isn’t just the breakdown of family per se, but how the separation is subsequently handled by the two most important figures in a child’s life. Their parents.

In the turmoil of relationship breakdown, some parents’ own emotional state blinds them to their children’s needs. A parent’s need for validation or revenge overrides their focus on the ongoing health needs of their child for the continued love and care of both parents. The child effectively becomes the spoils of war.

The psychological manipulation of a child by one parent (either intentionally or unintentionally) which ultimately leads to the outright rejection of a previously warm, loving relationship with their other parent, fractures a vital bond and creates an emotional vortex many never recover from.

If we are genuinely intent on serving the ‘best interests’ of children, then we need to be aware of the damage parental alienation is causing. Damage not always immediately evident yet serious psychological damage nonetheless.

To see Good Egg Safety’s short films, which highlight just how profoundly disturbing this hidden issue has become, visit https://www.facebook.com/Palienationuk

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