Children of divorce are often forced to choose between mom and dad
Posted By Melanie Thompson,
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The names in this story have been changed in order to protect “Jenny.”)
Ben no longer sees his daughter. He has lost all contact. A separation from his spouse forced their daughter to choose one parent over the other.
Jenny chose her mother.
Ben always had a normal father-daughter relationship with Jenny. After the separation, Jenny remained with her mother but Ben maintained a regular bi-weekly visitation schedule as agreed to by himself and his ex-spouse.
Things were going well. But soon he began to notice changes in Jenny.
HASN’T GIVEN UP HOPE
Now, seven years after the separation, she doesn’t want him near. She doesn’t want to go to his home for visits. She doesn’t want his birthday gifts.
Ben has almost given up all hope for a relationship with his daughter.
Jenny is caught in the middle of a case of parental alienation, which commonly occurs among divorced families.
This condition is described by the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) as a group of verbal and non-verbal behaviours by one or both parents that are damaging to children’s mental and emotional well being. Children are manipulated or brainwashed into choosing one parent over the other.