Frequently, people resist accepting the concept of parental alienation, saying “yeah right, a child would know of someone was trying to manipulate them”.
So let’s consider some graduated examples to see why it isn’t far fetched:
- Let’s start with the classic tales: The Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Stork.
- See also the beginnings of alienation examples.
- Then consider some light hearted examples from HNLTV’s recent article Whoppers, Light Hearted Stories You Believed as a Child (White Lies):
- “My Mom told me I was allergic to chocolate. I found out I wasn’t a few years ago. I am 35 and am now a chocoholic.”
- “My Dad would tell me that the ice cream truck played music when it was OUT of ice cream! Well played Dad”
- “My Mom told me that if I kissed a boy I would become pregnant.”
- Note the age above of the chocoholic when she uncovered the “white lie” was 35 years old.
- See also results from the American Psychiatric Association Regarding Disordered Parenting, as well as a summary of 40 empirical studies on psychological control as well as Dr. Kernberg’s notes on Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism as well as Kerig’s book on parent child boundary dissolution.
- See also Dr. Richard Warshak’s on 5 ways that people rationalize away child psychological abuse.
- “Psychologist and influence expert Robert Levine reports that most people have the illusion that they are immune to persuasion.” [Baker2014 Surviving]
- Recall the lessons of advertising (sensuality sells), negative campaigning (it works), cigarette ads (they worked), and the Innocence Project (11 Jurors unanimously sign off on death penalties only to be proved wrong years later by the math of DNA testing).
- “The six tactics of persuasion apply to parental alienation: reciprocity, consistency, endorsement of social group, likability, authority, and appearance of scarcity.” [Baker2014 Surviving]
- Finally, solely for the purpose of understanding people’s natural emotional response when considering whether someone was capable of harming children, consider the lessons from FBI Special Agent Ken Lanning‘s admonishment about people’s views of those accused of committing sexual abuse: “Regardless of intelligence and education and often despite common sense and evidence to the contrary, adults tend to believe what they need to believe. The greater the need, the greater the belief”. “Many individuals do not prevent, recognize, or accept sexual victimization of a child by a respected member of society because they cannot believe a man who is good and spiritual and who seems to truly care for children could be a child molester. Such offenders can be Big Brother of the Year, most popular teacher, coach”. Again, the only parallel intended here is only the emotional, irrational view people usually have of someone who harms children, and no other insinuation is appropriate of intended. In brief, Ken Lanning’s observations can be seen in recent scandals in the Catholic Church and at Penn State.”