BRINGING PARENTAL ALIENATION EDUCATION TO SCHOOLS
Parental Alienation continues to occur on a large scale due to a lack of understanding of what Parental Alienation is and how to deal with it within the community and among professionals. Some people feel that the best way to tackle the problem is to start by educating teachers and students. Many parents have tried over the years to get their school to be more understanding and aware of Parental Alienation. Until now no-one is known to have made any real progress. Most schools I am sure would have wanted to help but the counter intuitive nature of Parental Alienation has made it difficult for them to understand the problem and what to do about it. Many parents impacted by parental Alienation are understandably very stressed by their own personal situation and when explaining it to other people it looks just like another personal problem that should be handled by other people such as marriage counsellors.
Kathi Lynch from Pennsylvania USA tried a slightly different approach. Rather than take her issue to the staff who are very busy in day to day operations she took her issue to the school board who are more focussed on the school's strategic direction than day to day issues. The school board gave her the chance to speak and Kathi gave an excellent talk focussing on the overall issue rather than concentrating on her concerns for her own children. The school have seen the bigger picture and are now exploring this issue to see if they can do something within the existing environment in which they operate.
Keep tuned to this page to learn of more developments in Parental Alienation education in schools as they occur.
Below is Kathi's story of how she did it so concerned parents and others can have a template of how they can get their local school involved.
'My PA Awareness Day project of speaking to the school board of my school district was so well received that a few people asked me about how I did it so I’ve decided to post what I did.
The first thing that I did was write a letter to the school board and then email it to each member, the weekend before their meeting. I found the information about meeting times, board members emails and how they carried out their meetings on the school district website. I read there that if I make a written request to speak 24 hrs before the meeting, I would be put on the list. I also checked the order of the meeting and found that citizens who wanted to address the board came at the beginning of the meeting. I was the only one that made a written request but thought it a good idea in case there were many people who wanted to speak.
BRINGING PARENTAL ALIENATION EDUCATION TO MEDICAL DOCTORS
When you visit your family Doctor take with you https://www.emmm.org.au/position-statement.html including a list of who has signed it. Take with you lots of explanatory pamphlets that you can print out in black and white from: http://www.paawareness.com/Brochure/Brochure_ChildHelp_US.pdf and ask if you can leave in the surgery/surgery waiting room. Take with you some fridge magnets from: http://www.divorcepizza.com/merchandise.html
Explain the concern and the pro-active approach the Australian Medical Association is taking to psychological abuse you have read about on their website:
Explain to your doctor if they want to learn more they can go to:
BRINGING PARENTAL ALIENATION EDUCATION TO PSYCHOLOGISTS AND LAWYERS
I’m including the link to the meeting in case you’d like to hear me. I’m at 41 minutes. I spoke for about 9 minutes. I wouldn’t expect that they would let you go much past 10 minutes. He stopped me as you can see in the video but I did have time to get my point across.
At the meeting, I read the letter that I wrote and then I added the extra about how many children that PA affects in our school district. My letter is below:
Dear North Penn School Board Member,
Parental Alienation Awareness Day is April 25th. I am writing to tell you this because my family has been a member of the North Penn School District for the last 21 years and for the last 7 years we have suffered through the trauma of parental alienation ourselves. I have not been able to have a relationship with my three daughters for the past 5 years. June 2012, my daughters, xxxxx, xxxx and xxxxx xxxxxx gave me the last hug of our lifetimes as they were leaving for a summer trip to the country of Lebanon. During their absence they suddenly stopped all communication with me and when they returned home to North Wales it continued, to this day, with only an occasional word to me throughout these 5 years. I was totally bewildered by their action as we had a close and loving relationship before this, up until their father and I decided to divorce. Over these years, I have done much reading and learning about our situation and how to deal with it and I have found that parental alienation affects many families in separation/divorce situations.
Parental Alienation (PA) is the manipulation of a child by the parent to inspire fear, disrespect and/or hate of the other parent in the child with the goal to diminish or permanently sever the relationship between the child and the other parent. Statistics indicate that 25% of children of divorce suffer emotional trauma due to their parents actions. The problems that kids present with due to this trauma include depression, anxiety, aggression, poor academic performance, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, risky behavior and suicide. Studies show that parents are more likely to attend counseling sessions in the schools before agreeing to outside services. This is where the school personnel can step in to help these kids and their families. According to Pennsylvania school code, each school must provide student services including developmental services throughout the students enrollment in school. Developmental services include guidance counseling, psychological services, health services, home and school visitor services and social work services that support students in addressing their academic, behavioral, health, personal and social development issues. (pacode.com/secure/data/022/chapter12/s12.41.html). Leaving no child behind means stepping up to the plate and facing the problems children are experiencing in order to help them heal and providing programs to prevent deep emotional scarring. Children cannot help themselves and you cannot help them unless you address the issues with their parents concerning divorce and custody.
For more detailed information on Parental alienation, please see the following videos:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/search/dr-sol-goldstein/ (Choose one titled: Family)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQIXAjC_v50 (Dr. Jane Major…)
Other sources for information:
DVD “Welcome Back Pluto,” by Dr. Richard Warshak
For the sake of all our children and their families in the North Penn School District, please take the time to find out more about this trauma of Parental Alienation. Currently the counselors and teachers are not able or willing to help in these situations and they need to be educated first about what this looks like and how to help. Parental Alienation is counter intuitive, meaning that traditional counseling only makes the situation worse. Professionals must have training in parental alienation in order to help the PA kids and families. After that we should be educating the families and finally helping the children and families who are caught in this hellish situation.
Please consider my words and all the children that this would affect, 25% of divorced family children. Let’s get some action going today to make the lives of our kids better tomorrow. Perhaps a starting point would be to form a citizens advisory committee to the board to find out the best way to proceed. I would be interested in helping on such a committee.
Thank you for your time.
Mr. ####### (school board president) told me that there were other issues like childrens rights which need to be taken into consideration and that the superintendent and the school counselors should have this discussion. From that I decided to attend the superintendents community meeting, which was the next week. Again, I sent an email to register for the meeting and I sent an email to the superintendent to ask if it would be the appropriate place for this discussion. He replied that it was the right place for this discussion.
The gathering was very small and we just jumped into it right away. The superintendent asked me to summarize what I’d said at the meeting for the other parents that were there so I did that and then I talked about childrens rights and how they are trampled on by the alienating parent. That children have the right to both of their parents in their lives, they have the right to love both parents and be loved by both parents and they have the right to be their authentic selves, but these rights have been taken away by their alienating parent. I said that I do not expect that the school personnel will fix this problem but I do think that they can be trained to pick out children who are at risk for PA and learn strategies to help these kids and their families rather than ignoring the problem or saying it’s not my job, because PA only gets worse with time. After that, the superintendent asked me about how I thought the school could help. I suggested that the school could lead the Awareness with 1)the school personnel getting CEU’s for PA training, 2)the students could learn about it through an assembly and 3)the families could learn about it through a school/community engagement talk. I gave ###### (superintendent) the pamplet from the PAawareness site. We left it at, the superintendent would attend the next monthly meeting with the counselors of the school district and he would present the issue of PA and get their feedback and then let me know what happens.
I hope that helps! '
(Per Kathi Lynch)
Picture of a brain inside a Skull Picture of a Educational materials are available from:
Courses will soon be run by the not for profit Childress Institute. For more information go to:
BRINGING PARENTAL ALIENATION EDUCATION TO THE PUBLIC