Daddy Doesn’t Love You Anymore
Alexa and Eduardo are going through a divorce after 10 years of marriage. They have two children children, Angela, eight years old and Juan Carlos, 6 years old. Eduardo moved out of the marital residence last year, and the kids remain at home living with their mother. Both children are having problems adjusting to the new family dynamics, especially after Alexa learned that Eduardo is moving his new girlfriend into his apartment.
Rather than encourage and foster a strong parental bond between her minor children and their father, Alexa has been sabotaging their relationship by denying the children telephonic contact with Eduardo; denying Eduardo timesharing with his kids; calling the Husband bad names in front of the children; and telling them that “Daddy doesn’t love you anymore.” Once when Eduardo was able to have Angela and Juan Carlos for overnight timesharing, Alexa called DCF after the children returned home falsely claiming that her husband sexually abused Angela.
Where once the children were eager to speak to and spend quality time with their father at the inception of the divorce proceedings, both Angela and Juan Carlos are wary of spending any time with Eduardo to the point that they are now protesting and refusing to go with their father on the few occasions he is able to exercise timesharing with them. Additionally, Juan Carlos began having nightmares and becomes agitated and anxious whenever Alexa mentions Eduardo’s name.
Parental alienation is at play here. This is a process where one parent degrades and denigrates the other parent, denies the other parent contact and/or timesharing with the children, uses a variety of threats or other means to alienate the children from the other parent and causes the children to reject the other parent. Parental alienation knows no gender. Either a father or mother may be the hostile parent.
Parental Alienation Syndrome was first identified in 1985 by Dr. Richard Gardner to describe a childhood disorder that almost exclusively arises in child custody disputes. Since that time numerous organizations have been founded to deal with this issue and there is now a Parental Alienation Awareness Day on April 25th of each year.