“Crazy people don’t think they’re crazy.”
Bump In The Road:
Lynn Steinberg on Parents, Kids and Connecting
Parental Alienation: A Story of Parents, Kids and Re-Connecting
Lynn Steinberg is a psychologist who specializes in parental alienation. She is an advocate for parents and an expert in the field. Her passion for this topic grew out of her own childhood experiences.
What is parental alienation? It’s when one parent actively works to discredit the other in the mind of a child. Discrediation is often subtle. The parent may be painted as being unfair. Perhaps he/she doesn’t let a child play alone in a park or sends them to a private school. These simple caring patterns are painted as evidence that the parent dislikes or even hates their own child. And so the subtle campaign of alienating a parent and their child begins.
“The sad thing is that children are deeply affected.
They have a lot of psychological problems as a result of
being weaponized against one parent, by the other parents. “
Alienators will go to any lengths to destroy a child’s relationship with a beloved parent. This behavior often shows up in a divorce where the alienator manipulates their public perception for their own benefit, at the expense of everyone around them. They are usually narcissistic, sometimes sociopathic, often psychotic, and invariably grandiose.
Alienated children are guided to see the world in black and white, where one parent is good and one is mean. These scripts destroy families. The deep heartache this causes is unimaginable. One study of 1500 parents impacted by alienation found that:
• More than half the respondents had not seen their children for more than 6 months
• 1 in 10 had not seen their child more than 5 years
• 58% have had custody arrangements breached multiple times
• 80% have suffered adverse health problems
• 55% have suffered serious financial impact
• 16 had completed or attempted suicide
These children are essentially brainwashed by one parent against the other, in a conscious and malicious way. How do you break this spell? Lynn talks about this, her own experiences with alienation with her own children, and more in this podcast and in her book You’re Not Crazy: Overcoming Parent/Child Alienation.
On Parental Alienation
“I’m an advocate for parental alienation.”
“I married someone who was an alienator. Almost from the time my daughters could talk, he would be alienating them against me.”
“Parental alienation is when one parent gives the children permission to break the other parent’s heart.”
“No normal parent would want to deprive their child of another parent.”
“The message is, “I am the nice parent and they are the mean parent.”