More than 75,500 children in the Netherlands no longer have contact with one of their parents due to parental alienation. Help these children | opinion

More than 75,500 children in the Netherlands no longer have contact with one of their parents due to parental alienation. Photo: Shutterstock

Trea friend Lent no longer sees his children after a divorce, despite a plan for co-parents signed by both parties and approved by the court. According to her, the alienation of the parents deserves more attention because it is also harmful to the child.

Many have never heard the word parental alienation. And have no idea what that means. And yet there are more than 75,500 children in the Netherlands who are deeply unhappy because of their parents ‘alienation and who no longer have contact with one of their parents because of their parents’ alienation.

A child is naturally loyal to both parents. However, due to the problems between the parents that arose after the divorce, children are more or less forced to make a choice. It is not that they want to make a choice between both their parents, but they see this as the only way to create calm and thus try to maintain themselves in the situation that has arisen. A form of survival.

The controlling parent often shares parenting issues with the child. The child is often manipulated and indoctrinated by the controlling parent in such a way that the child has a feeling that he or she has to adopt the controlling parent’s opinion. In this sense, the child loses his or her own identity and often proclaims the meaning of the controlling parent as his or her own.

To earn love through rejection

The child is emotionally completely dependent on the controlling parent and will do anything to gain appreciation from the controlling parent and feel love. The love that the controlling parent gives to the child is not self-evident, this love must be achieved by reacting negatively to the other parent and by obeying.

Children who are in a situation of parental alienation often speak only ill of the other parent, while the controlling parent in their eyes does nothing wrong. A child does this from their ‘survival mechanism’. The child will speak negatively about the other parent and say that there has never been a good relationship and that they do not want any contact in the future.

The controlling parent makes the choice of being with the other parent with the child and will at the same time tell the social administration and the youth court that the child must be listened to.

Children imposed adult responsibility

By meeting the wishes and needs of the alienated children and letting them decide whether they want to interact with the alienated parent, these children are charged with adult responsibilities. Children can be derailed in their behavior by this responsibility because they cannot handle this responsibility. And should not go either. A job for social workers is to restore the family hierarchy.

Because the family hierarchy is disrupted by the alienation of the parents, children are made responsible for the happiness and well-being of the controlling parent. Who acts as a victim of the other parent. The child then becomes the interlocutor for the controlling parent. This points to parenthood.

Parenting means that a child takes over the care of a parent with the associated tasks for a longer period of time. It’s about long-term care that is inappropriate. Inappropriate in the sense of not being age-appropriate and detrimental to the child’s development.

As little contact as possible with the other parent

The controlling parent ensures as little contact as possible between the child and the other parent, in order to prevent the other parent from being able to refute or nuance the untruths. The child is also isolated from anyone who could say something positive about the other parent or refute statements from the controlling parent.

Because of the alienation of the parents, a child denies a part of himself, his own identity. After all, a child is 50 percent part of the father and 50 percent part of the mother. Thus, the child involved in parental alienation denies itself 50 percent of itself.

It has consequences for the development of the child’s self-image. Consequences for the developmental stages from child to adult. As a result, many children have mental illness, low self-esteem and struggle with performance anxiety. A child’s loyalty is imperishable, but with prohibition, love and affection can become invisible.

Help these children.

Trea van Lent lives in Veendam. She has been divorced for three years. Despite a plan for co-parents, signed by both parties and approved by the court, she no longer sees her children.

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