Illusory truth In high conflict divorces, sometimes, one parent uses the illusory truth effect leading the child to believe they do not want to see or talk to one of their parents or convince the child their parent does not care about them. In actuality, the rejected parent is eager to cultivate the parent-child relationship. Instead, the child is embroiled in a bitter battle called the illusory truth effect by the alienating parent. The illusory truth effect is a concept evolving from a 1977 study.
This is important in high conflict divorces because repetition supersedes prior knowledge.
The child may recall a close and loving relationship with their parent yet; the illusory truth effect means the child perceives the repeated negative statements as the truth. Negative comments, albeit false, are replacing what the child knows to be true by the erroneous reports they are hearing. In essence, constant exposure to the harmful facts becomes the child’s new reality.
Research in 2008 found when the child is experiencing high stress due to abuse, physiological changes may affect memory storage and the illusory truth effect may be more intense. A child in the throes of a high conflict divorce may experience distress making the child more vulnerable to the ‘facts’ directed at them, therefore exacerbating an already volatile situation. Utilizing the illusory truth effect is emotionally destructive
and traumatizing to the child.
Quotes from children on shared parenting
Ages 4-7: “This is all very confusing. I am soooo confused.”
Ages 8-12: “Dad couldn’t be as bad as mom says he is.”
Ages 13-18: “…I had to face betrayal, abandonment, loneliness, and my family is
now divorced.” Continue reading “Identifying parental behaviors- NAAP”
NAAP Founders and Directors
We accuse you adults!
We accuse you adults! Where were you when our parents tore us children apart, in their mad
divorce war, which lasted for 12 years and really was a war?
Where were the judges and social workers, and the experts, who interviewed us a dozen times, but never made any changes, although our father always had the right of custody!
And you, grandparents, what did you actually do? We were never allowed to see our father’s
parents, they died without ever really knowing us. But my mother’s parents: you knew them, didn’t you? They were kind! You wanted us all to your-selves, you never told your daughter that she was trampling all over our human rights. Did you not teach her any morals? You never stood
up for us grandchildren, not once.
Where were the godparents who, at our christening, had promised to look after us? Who didn’t
demand from our mother that she’d let us see our father just once a fortnight for a short weekend. We wanted to see him without any pressure, without suffering the punishment of her migraines, without her pinched lips, without thundering silences, without threats to kill the cat next time we wanted to see our father… Without the mean refusal by our mother to feed the rabbits just for those few days, which almost broke my little sister’s heart … Her father or her rabbits? Life or death? Because she was only seven and she loved her pets more than anything. And loved our father just as much.
Where were the crèche nannies, who are supposed to be so fond of children? And the nursery teachers? Why weren’t they there for us children, didn’t take our side, defend our right to see all our relatives? They preferred to stay out of it. Cowards, that’s what they were, nothing else. And the teachers? Surely they must know that divorced parents do not pass on letters, it happened with ten children in my class. They must have known from the files that he had the right of custody. They never told our father when we had a school party and I played a brilliant part in “Peter and Anneli’s Journey to the Moon”, or my sister danced in the ballet, so father could have seen us. He would’ve been so proud – and would’ve told us so, as he always did.
Unless you can be confident that your heart is in good shape then PLEASE AVOID READING THIS JUDGMENT. Never have we felt so completely convinced that NAAP has not been formed a minute too soon.