Below is a paraphrased excerpt from a letter written by a Nigerian man to a women support agency, in which he complains that the mother of his kids, who he is no longer on good terms with, keeps trying to ALIENATE him from the kids – by influencing them to hate him.
This article features previews/links to Authoritative Research Papers and News Reports on the – common – problem of PARENTAL ALIENATION of a parent by an embittered spouse. using the kids as a weapon.
===Start of paraphrased excerpts===
I DO NOT DO IT TO HER. So she needs to stop teaching the kids to hate, disrespect, lie and bear false witness against ME – their father
1. I always ask each child to apologize to her when rude, but she does the opposite to me e.g sometimes even praising them – saying things to the child like “I trust you. Well done!”
2. She tells them I hate them when I discipline them – so that some actually say so to me.
I’ve made several complaints about this to older relatives and later various agencies, with no improvement. This was after efforts to reason with her one on one, repeatedly failed.
3. When I try to correct the kids for wrong doing, she often takes sides with each rebelling child, to not only defy, but also insult me, and even goad them to physically attack me – sometimes causing injury to me.
To make matters worse, she even coached the kids to claim they’d attacked me because I was beating HER – when that was NEVER the case!
4. But the truth is that whenever she is away, and the kids are ALONE with me, they readily relax/have fun with me. However, as soon as she comes around the kids become stiff and less responsive to me, because they know she could get angry seeing them bonding with me.
I want all this to stop. What she is doing is abusive to me and the kids.
===End of paraphrased excerpts===
What this man’s partner is doing to him is called PARENTAL ALIENATION – a very common occurrence between disputing couples, with kids
What follows below are reports and papers that discuss Parental Alienation in elaborate detail…
It is instructive to note that BOTH women and men can be guilty of doing this to their spouses – as shown in reports and records from various societies.
Nigeria however lacks accurate information about the nature of occurrence of this problem.
I believe it’s time responsible bodies, and stakeholders began formally recording data on Parental Alienation, especially in light of the potentially damaging effect it can have on the target parent and the kids involved.
A. Children’s Lie-Telling to Conceal a Parent’s Transgression: Legal Implications
“””…the present study examined the lie-telling behavior of children aged 3–11 years to conceal their parents’ transgressions. It revealed that the majority of children told the truth about their parents’ transgressions. However, children’s lie or truth-telling behavior was adaptive and situation-specific. When the possibility of the child being blamed for the transgression was reduced, a significantly greater number of children lied about their parents’ transgressions.
B. Divorcing parents who poison children against their former partner…
…The demonizing of a parent, usually by the one with whom the child lives, has long been recognized as damaging…’
“C. What Is ‘Malicious Mother Syndrome’? …Someone suffering from the syndrome:
1. Attempts to punish the divorcing parent though alienating their children from the other parent and involving others or the courts in actions to separate parent and child;
2. Seeks to deny children visitation and communication with the other parent and involvement in the child’s school or extra-curricular activities;
3. Lies to their children and others repeatedly and may engage in violations of law;
4. Doesn’t suffer any other mental disorder which would explain these actions.
NB: I’ve repeatedly stated EVERYWHERE I’ve gone to report these issues that Nkechi is mentally unstable – so item 4, to me, may not apply to her, and therefore she may not suffer from this syndrome.
“D. The Impact of Parental Alienation on Children [Undermining loving parent-child relationships as child maltreatment]
“Parental Alienation involves a set of strategies, including bad-mouthing the other parent, limiting contact with that parent, erasing the other parent from the life and mind of the child (forbidding discussion and pictures of the other parent), forcing the child to reject the other parent, creating the impression that the other parent is dangerous, forcing the child to choose between the parents by means of threats of withdrawal of affection, and belittling and limiting contact with the extended family of the targeted parent.
There is now scholarly consensus that severe alienation is abusive to children (Fidler and Bala, 2010), and is a largely overlooked form of child abuse (Bernet et al, 2010),as child welfare and divorce practitioners are often unaware of or minimize its extent.
Hatred is not an emotion that comes naturally to a child; it has to be taught. A parent who would teach a child to hate or fear the other parent represents a grave and persistent danger to the mental and emotional health of that child. ”
“A father who was the victim of (parental) alienation, speaking anonymously, told the Guardian:
“I’ve lived through and witnessed the inexorable alienation of my older daughter over the past five years, which has culminated in complete loss of contact. I will not have seen or heard from her for three years this coming January. We had a fantastic, loving relationship for the first 12 years of her life. This is a horrible form of child abuse that is struggling to get out from under the rock of prejudice and ignorance.””