The brain learns through trusting relationships If we are with people we know and trust then our minds are more open to new experiences. We are open to trying something new or to changing our beliefs about the world and other people. The capacity of the brain to learn in everyday life depends on relationships with trusted others.
A lack of trust can make us feel isolated and disengaged – even if we are with others – and make us less able to learn. For children who have experienced abuse and neglect, a lack of trust may be one factor that explains their greater difficulty in learning. A child who does not trust those around them needs to be vigilant and wary. They may not be able to focus their attention on what excites and engages them in the classroom or at home
The results are devastating for the alienated child and can last a lifetime. Not only does the child miss out on a lifetime of having an enjoyable and fulfilling relationship with the parent they have been conditioned to reject, they also develop some serious pathological behaviors and attitudes that carry in to their adult lives.
Following are descriptions of some of these disturbing effects:
Splitting: This is the psychological phenomenon of seeing people as either “all bad” or “all good,” or “black or white.” Everything is polarized and the person has an inability to see shades of gray. Think of the borderline personality disordered person who has to split in order to cope with relationships and life in general. This is not a disorder you want your child to possess and leads to endless problems.
Difficulties forming and maintaining relationships: Alienated children struggle with developing healthy relationships because they have been conditioned to “get rid of people” whenever they experience a perceived threat. Since most people are flawed, the alienated child would need the skill of knowing how to accept flaws in others in order to maintain the relationship. Skills such as flexibility, acceptance, forgiveness, do not exist when you reject people outright for minor infractions, as alienated children have been trained to do.Whenever someone causes a perceived threat to this person, he/she is triggered to remember, “I know how to handle this,” and they proceed to reject the other person easily. Their mind tells them, “You just hurt my feelings. I’m going to close you out and now you’re done.”
If you are an alienated child (perhaps an adult now), please register your interest if you would like to re-establish your relationship with one of your parents. Simply email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Likewise, if you are a parent looking for an alienated child, register your interest by mailing us and we will let you know if your child makes contact with us. Sometimes a child will prefer and need the contact to be indirect and to be handled sensitively.
Here Are Some Potential Consequences of Teaching a Child to Hate:
Negative or judgmental personality
Difficulty trusting others
Difficulty initiating and maintaining relationships
Poor relationship quality
Guilt or confusion surrounding negative feelings about the other parent
Every child has the right to have a loving and healthy relationship with both his or her parents. Divorced or otherwise separated parents are expected to encourage and nurture the relationship between the child and the other parent. Alienating parents are typically so consumed by their own feelings that they feel to recognize they are alienating the child in addition to their former partner. Hate, animosity, or resentment are not emotions that comes naturally to children; it has to be taught. A parent that teaches and encourages a child to hate the other parent and his or her new spouse or partner runs the risk of damaging the child both emotionally and psychologically. Unfortunately, with ongoing encouragement and exposure to hate and animosity the negative effects on a child can be lengthy and significant.
How reporting domestic violence works against women in family court.
Coronado was angry. A slender Mexican-American woman with long dark hair and a whip-quick mind, she’d scraped her way up from a New Mexico trailer park to serve in the Peace Corps and graduate from the University of Texas Law School. She married Ed Cunningham, a former football star turned lawyer and businessman, and had three boys and a girl. And she’d stayed home to raise them, for long stretches on her own, through a tumultuous 15-year-marriage that broke down when she discovered her husband had bought a second house across town where he was having an affair with another woman. Continue reading “She Said Her Husband Hit Her. She Lost Custody of Their Kids”→
In jurisdictions throughout the United States, courts have severed maternal contact with chidren based on expert testimony diagnosing mothers with a novel psychological syndrome called Parental Alienation Syndrome (“PAS”) that purportedly results in the alienation of children from their fathers
Researchers used the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Core Data Set to analyze data from 5,616 youths with lifetime histories of one or more of three types of abuse: psychological maltreatment (emotional abuse or emotional neglect), physical abuse and sexual abuse. The majority (62 percent) had a history of psychological maltreatment, and nearly a quarter (24 percent) of all the cases were exclusively psychological maltreatment, which the study defined as caregiver-inflicted bullying, terrorizing, coercive control, severe insults, debasement, threats, overwhelming demands, shunning and/or isolation.
Children who had been psychologically abused suffered from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, symptoms of post-traumatic stress and suicidality at the same rate and, in some cases, at a greater rate than children who were physically or sexually abused. Among the three types of abuse, psychological maltreatment was most strongly associated with depression, general anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, attachment problems and substance abuse. Psychological maltreatment that occurred alongside physical or sexual abuse was associated with significantly more severe and far-ranging negative outcomes than when children were sexually and physically abused and not psychologically abused, the study found. Moreover, sexual and physical abuse had to occur at the same time to have the same effect as psychological abuse alone on behavioral issues at school, attachment problems and self-injurious behaviors, the research found.
“Child protective service case workers may have a harder time recognizing and substantiating emotional neglect and abuse because there are no physical wounds,” said Spinazzola. “Also, psychological abuse isn’t considered a serious social taboo like physical and sexual child abuse. We need public awareness initiatives to help people understand just how harmful psychological maltreatment is for children and adolescents.” Continue reading “Childhood Psychological Abuse as Harmful as Sexual or Physical Abuse”→