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Topic : 12/26 "Brainwashed by My Parents"

Number of Replies: 954
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Created on : Friday, September 26, 2008, 02:43:44 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard3

(Original Air Date: 10/03/08) It’s being called the ultimate form of child abuse -- brainwashing your children against an ex-spouse to win custody. Could you be harming your child emotionally and not even know it? First up, Ken is a successful surgeon who says he’s the victim of parental alienation syndrome (PAS). He says he hasn’t seen his 14-year-old son since last October and claims his ex-wife destroyed what was once a loving father-son relationship. Mel Feit, director of the National Center for Men, says Ken’s situation is a classic case of kids being turned against their father, but family law attorney Liz Kates says PAS is a phony tactic used by some men to get out of paying child support. What does Dr. Phil think? Then, Karen lost custody of her children after she was accused of parental alienation syndrome by her ex-husband. Karen maintains her innocence, so why were her parental rights terminated when her daughters accused her ex of sexual abuse? Plus, 19-year-old Demi joins the show via Web cam and says her father verbally abused her mother during their divorce. Now, she fears that her 15-year-old sister is caught in the middle. Find out what you can do if you’re caught between sparring parents. And, meet a father so desperate to see his young children, he kidnapped them from his ex-wife and went on the lam for two years. Talk about the show here.


Find out what happened on the show.


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September 27, 2008, 9:39 am CDT

The other side of the issue

I have been separated for 7 years, having been married for 23.  For the last 8 years of our marriage, my ex-husband suffered from Clinical Depression.  As far as I know, he still does.  We have no direct contact.

 

During the early part of our separation, my ex accused me of alienating our two sons from him.  The accusation came to me through my lawyer.  While he has stopped accusing me (at least I haven't heard anything more) it was extremely hurtful at the time and I still remember the feeling it caused. 

 

I consider myself a good Mom and I think my sons agree.  I'd be lying if I said that I have never said a bad word about my ex to them.  After all, I'm human.  However, it is his behaviour that has alienated our older son, not anything I said.  Without going into it all, my ex is guilty of physical abuse (just once, that's all it took), emotional abuse (saying that our sons would be better off in foster care than with me - if I'm so bad, why didn't he take them?) and financial abuse (he refuses to pay child support),  For the first couple of years, I insisted that both sons see their father.  Eventually, our older son got to the age where he could make his own choice.  He chose to cut off all contact.  Our younger son still has a relationship with his father, which I do not discourage in any way.

 

My point is that just because a child cuts off contact with the non-custodial parent, it's not always the fault of the costodial parent.  Some of these people have to take ownership for their own behaviour and accept the fact that they just might be at fault.

 

Karen

 
September 27, 2008, 12:54 pm CDT

a good book

Parental Alienation Breaking The Ties That Bind is a good book written by Amy Baker to help understand some of these issues. It looks at the actual lives of children, now adults that were alienated by one parent. How the child, now adult handles the pas, the children's view point.
 
September 27, 2008, 1:59 pm CDT

PAS is real

I am embroiled in a case of PAS to the extreme, The two parents involved have 7 children between them. They have done everything they can to turn the children not only against the other parents but grandparents as well. If anyone dares to speak out against them they are on their list.  I as one of the grandparents are given strict boundries and rules if I wish to see my grandchildren. If I go against them I will not get to see the kids. Some of my rules are that I am not allowed to talk to ex spouses and their familes, Often times their offer of letting me see the kids come with strings attached like a loan of money (never returned). The children are grilled as to what anyone says to them.

The other grandparents are also in the same situation. They constantly tell the children that we did not come to their birthday parties or other occasions when we were not allowed to go or not told about it. I have had my grand children ask me why I do not want to see them anymore or why was I mean to Mom or try to get them in trouble.

They blame all the problems they have on other family members. We all have to be so careful on what we say or do as we do not want to lose contact with these kids. Now they are being observed by family services and we are all to blame for that as well. The children have learned not to trust anyone and seemed to be very wary of everyone. 

They constantly try to play all parties against each other and basically hold the kids for ransom. Even though we have all finally been able to know that we are all in the same situation it does help what is happening to the kids. I can only hope that these parents get serious help before they ruin the kids completely. These kids need all the love they can get, and should not have to feel that if they espress love for their other parents or family they will be punished and made to feel they have upset the parents.

 
September 27, 2008, 3:02 pm CDT

It's "all about the kids"

Quote From: tigger2908

I have been separated for 7 years, having been married for 23.  For the last 8 years of our marriage, my ex-husband suffered from Clinical Depression.  As far as I know, he still does.  We have no direct contact.

 

During the early part of our separation, my ex accused me of alienating our two sons from him.  The accusation came to me through my lawyer.  While he has stopped accusing me (at least I haven't heard anything more) it was extremely hurtful at the time and I still remember the feeling it caused. 

 

I consider myself a good Mom and I think my sons agree.  I'd be lying if I said that I have never said a bad word about my ex to them.  After all, I'm human.  However, it is his behaviour that has alienated our older son, not anything I said.  Without going into it all, my ex is guilty of physical abuse (just once, that's all it took), emotional abuse (saying that our sons would be better off in foster care than with me - if I'm so bad, why didn't he take them?) and financial abuse (he refuses to pay child support),  For the first couple of years, I insisted that both sons see their father.  Eventually, our older son got to the age where he could make his own choice.  He chose to cut off all contact.  Our younger son still has a relationship with his father, which I do not discourage in any way.

 

My point is that just because a child cuts off contact with the non-custodial parent, it's not always the fault of the costodial parent.  Some of these people have to take ownership for their own behaviour and accept the fact that they just might be at fault.

 

Karen

I just settled a long drawn out painful custody battle with my ex. I am so not happy with the results but I felt it was the best thing I could do for my children even though the decision goes against my grain. I divorced a controling abusive, selfish man. To make a long story short - I am not allowed to move from the county the kids were born in even though I would like to move within the same state. I have a job and a house waiting for me out of town but am living on welfare in poverty here where the kids are court ordered to stay. This was all because my ex didn't want me to go and happened to say all the right things to the custody evaluator. I completely got shafted and was told by my attorney and his assistant that I just have to wait for my ex to screw up. Well, his alchohol abuse and the fact that he took my kids and kept them from me for 11 days so I couldn't move as we had verbally agreed don' t mean anything to the court system. He hasn't gotten so much as a slap on the wrist. I have to sit back and watch my kids get messed up and wait for them to be old enough to realize what is going on.

I agree with what Karen says - what if the kid honestly doesn't like the other parent? I haven't said anything to my youngest and he cries everytime he has to go to his dad's house. He had 2 episodes at daycare regarding not wanting to go and the custody evaluator took the word of his father (who wasn't there!) that it didn't happen. She never asked the daycare provider - nothing. Instead I get accused of alienating and am being dictated how to raise my kids.

Why do so many people think that because they are kids - they are stupid. Even their own father won't give them credit for being intelligent enough to see what is going on. I haven't had to say anything to the kids but no one will listen to them directly either.

 

Bitter in Minnesota

 
September 27, 2008, 3:06 pm CDT

my husband accused of abuse and alienated

I belong to a group called Men and Women Against Discrimination. (MAWAD) We had a law recently passed that held the custodial parent liable for false allegations. We are about a parent who can't see their child(ren) due to lies the other parent tells law enforcement, judges and magistrates to keep the child away.

My husband saw his one weekend since 06/05 until 12/07. In Dec. of last year, we got custody. But all of this has been going on since May 2001. False charges about the child being burnt, she done it. Bruises on the child, his arm and butt, done by his mother but who do you think she blamed? The father. I was accused of causing the son so much stress that she had to admit him to a mental hospital. I proved that she told the doctors what she wanted them to know without even talking to us to ask us what happenend that weekend. My husband was put in jail for felony child abuse. When the Pros. Atty told her if she found out she was lying and SHE was the one who caused the abuse, SHE would lose the child and go to jail and did she want to go thru with the charges. The mother dropped the charges after that. But we were out of 2500 lawyer fee.

I think a parent like her should go to jail to "learn a lesson" about filing all the false charges. She even told the child to say that the father molested him, that my son molested him and my father in law witnessed it all and done nothing. When it got down to the State Police and the Pros. Atty. getting involved, everybody realized the child "recited" the store verbatim to everybody who talked to him. (CPS, police, Kids Rights, Pros. Atty, and Guardian Ad Litem) To this day he will tell you his mom "told him to do it or go to foster care". You dont scare a child into doing what you want.

The child didnt ask to be born. The child didnt ask to be put in the middle. We just found out that the mother is not brainwashing the child into what to say when the new court date comes about. If this is brought up in court, I think the mother should lose visitation unless its supervised.

 
September 27, 2008, 3:19 pm CDT

Parents who brainwash

My step son was brainwashed by is biological mother against his father who is my husband.  This mother hurt my husband more than words can ever express.  When I met Mike (husband) he and his son had a close relationship.  I did not interfere with that.  I built a relationship of my own with my step son and sincerely thought that it was a good one.  I treated him better than I did my own.  But that is not the point, the bio mom made it impossible for Mike and his son to have a conversation let alone a relationship.  I am happy to say that today father and son communicate regularly.  To twist things a bit here, my parents brainwashed my daughter against me. it is a very long story and painful story one that is too long to post here.  Brainwashing is not a good thing for anyone.  It is a lose -lose situation.

Aprilynn in Kansas

 
September 27, 2008, 3:38 pm CDT

Message from a Targeted Parent

I want to send a message to all of you parents out there that think you're doing the right thing for your child/ren by “supporting” their "decision" to cut out the non-custodial parent out of their lives, whether they are paying child support or not. 

 

Think about this: If you are in any way, shape or form exaggerating, manipulating, telling white lies, twisting the truth, fabricating events, justifying and/or rationalizing, in order to influence your child/ren's love and opinions of their other parent, YOU ARE COMITTING PARENTAL ALIENATION!  It's that simple and THAT'S CHILD ABUSE! 

 

Children are much more forgiving than us adults and I'm not saying that where there is REAL abuse going on it should be ignored.  Those of you who are truly dealing with abuse know who you are.  This message is not for you.  It’s for the rest of you, and YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!  "If you know in your heart that you are doing and saying things that are inaccurate because you really would rather not have to deal with your ex for whatever reason, then you are being selfish and you are robbing your child/ren of their right to love, forgive AND be loved by both their parents. 

 

Natesmom4ever

 

 
September 27, 2008, 4:02 pm CDT

Brainwashed By My Parents

My son grew up without his father.  We divorced when he was two.  My husband had to pay child support and alimony which he never did.  Although I was angry at him for not supporting his son I never stopped him from seeing him.  He eventually pulled further and further away from his son until he no longer even wanted to see him.  My point is I vowed I would not talk evil of his father because in my mind that's like telling my son that half of him is bad.  When my son grew up and became an adult he asked me about his father and where he was.  I set up the reunion of my son and his father and let my son decide on his own what his opinion was of his father.  I was wise not to say anything because my son said he was a real jerk and that the father (my second husband) he's had for over 21 years was indeed his real dad.
 
September 27, 2008, 5:03 pm CDT

Hang in there for your grandchildren

Quote From: weckert

I am embroiled in a case of PAS to the extreme, The two parents involved have 7 children between them. They have done everything they can to turn the children not only against the other parents but grandparents as well. If anyone dares to speak out against them they are on their list.  I as one of the grandparents are given strict boundries and rules if I wish to see my grandchildren. If I go against them I will not get to see the kids. Some of my rules are that I am not allowed to talk to ex spouses and their familes, Often times their offer of letting me see the kids come with strings attached like a loan of money (never returned). The children are grilled as to what anyone says to them.

The other grandparents are also in the same situation. They constantly tell the children that we did not come to their birthday parties or other occasions when we were not allowed to go or not told about it. I have had my grand children ask me why I do not want to see them anymore or why was I mean to Mom or try to get them in trouble.

They blame all the problems they have on other family members. We all have to be so careful on what we say or do as we do not want to lose contact with these kids. Now they are being observed by family services and we are all to blame for that as well. The children have learned not to trust anyone and seemed to be very wary of everyone. 

They constantly try to play all parties against each other and basically hold the kids for ransom. Even though we have all finally been able to know that we are all in the same situation it does help what is happening to the kids. I can only hope that these parents get serious help before they ruin the kids completely. These kids need all the love they can get, and should not have to feel that if they espress love for their other parents or family they will be punished and made to feel they have upset the parents.

If the one family makes it so tough you will give up I've had someone close to me give up because he couldn't handle it emotionally. So please hang in there, for your grandchildren! I would never expect for the parent making these rules to understand what they are doing, especially after I read the book I mentioned above. Its a sickness. As I'm sure sometimes you've said, this is crazy, they are only hurting the children! It seems like they only care about themselves. Please read this book, if I still had it, I'd send it to you. It helps to understand what you are dealing with and what your grandchildren will face as time goes on. To stay in their lives as much as possible is important and you seem like you are caring. As much as you abide by "the rules" they will be ever changing so that you can't. Never give up on those kids, even when it seems they don't want contact with you, I believe deep down they always do. God bless you I hope things will improve for you with more and more exposure on this subject. Thank God Dr. Phil is airing this issue! Thanks Dr. Phil!
 
September 27, 2008, 5:57 pm CDT

I NEVER brainwashed my kids against their father!

One thing I NEVER did was bad-mouth their father to them, near them or even at all! It serves NO PURPOSE except to harm your own credibility!

 

I always figured it this way. I laid down and made these children and obvious I didn't do that alone.

So there was some 'attraction' or something for that to happen.

 

Why would I EVER let what might be my own personal opinion, harm the relationship between my daughters and their father.

 

I raised my daughters to be SMART and to make their own decisions and have their own opinions.

 

I figured that sooner or later they would draw their OWN conclusions without ANY input from me.

 

When my ex was over 7K in child support arrears and wanted to visit.......he visited regardless of my bank account.

I took care of my children very well WITHOUT that money and those girls saw me work 3 jobs for many years to take care of them.

 

I wasn't going to let a few dollars stand between my daughters relationship with their father!!

 

Fast forward, I have 2 mid-twenty year old daughters who have formed their OWN OPINION about their father. It isn't positive but HE did that on his OWN and I did NOT have to get involved!

 

Thankfully me and the ex were FRIENDS first and friends third.  We've always been able to talk to each other rationally.

 

I always thought that the MORE PEOPLE that LOVED a child the better off that child would be. Their relationship can be (and should be) a separate entity.

Thankfully I was able to do that for my daughters! They do appreciate the way they were raised as they have thanked me many times.

 

BTW, my ex hung himself with his behavior and now he has no contact with the kids. SAD FOR HIM!!

 
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