Parental Alienation Awareness Day is April 25th

Parental Alienation Awareness Day is April 25, 2014

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental Alienation is in fact an act of Child Abuse!

Dr. Douglas Darnall Ph.D states that there are in fact 3 types of Parental Alienation, we at Fathers4Justice agree that yes, there are at least 3 types.With that said, we have listed here Dr. Darnall’s explanation:

1. Naïve Alienation

“Tell your father that he has more money than I do, so let him buy your soccer shoes.”

Most divorced parents have moments when they are naive about their alienating behavior. These parents mean well and recognize the importance of the children having a healthy relationship with the other parent. They rarely have to return to court because of problems with visits or other issues relating to the children. They encourage the relationship between the children and the other parent and their family. Communication between both parents is usually good, though they will have their disagreements, much like they did before the divorce. For the most part, they can work out their differences without bringing the children into it.

Children, whether or not their parents are divorced, know there are times when their parents will argue or disagree about something. They don’t like seeing their parents argue and may feel hurt or frightened by what they hear. Somehow, the children manage to cope; either by talking out their feelings to a receptive parent, ignoring the argument or trusting that the skirmish will pass and all will heal. What they see and hear between their parents does not typically damage the children of the naïve alienator. They trust their parent’s love and protection. The child and the parent have distinct personalities, beliefs and feelings. Neither is threatened by how the other feels towards the targeted parent.

The characteristics of naïve alienation are:

Their ability to separate in their minds the children’s needs from their own. They recognize the importance for the children to spend time with the other parent so they can build a mutually loving relationship. They avoid making the other parent a target for their hurt and loss.

Their ability to feel secure with the children’s relationship with their grandparents and their mother or father.

Their respect for court orders and authority.

Their ability to let their anger and hurt heal and not interfere with the children’s relationship with their mother or father.

Their ability to be flexible and willing to work with the other parent.

Their ability to feel guilty when they acted in a way to hurt the children’s relationship with their mother or father.

Their ability to allow the other parent to share in their children’s activities.

Their ability to share medical and school records.

Naïve alienators usually don’t need therapy but will benefit from reading this book because of the insight they will gain about how to keep alienation from escalating into something more severe and damaging for all. These parents know they make mistakes but care enough about their children to make things right. They focus on what is good for the children without regret, blame or martyrdom.

2. Active Alienation

“I don’t want you to tell your father that I earned this extra money. The miser will take it from his child support check that will keep us from going to Disneyworld. You remember he’s done this before when we wanted to go to Grandma’s for Christmas.”

Many parents returning to court over problems with visitation are active alienators. These parents mean well and believe that the children should have a healthy relationship with the other parent. The problem they have is with controlling their frustration, bitterness or hurt. When something happens to trigger their painful feelings, active alienators lash out in a way to cause or reinforce alienation against the targeted parent. After regaining control, the parent will usually feel guilty or bad about what they did and back off from their alienating tactics. Vacillating between impulsively alienating and then repairing the damage with the children is the trademark of the active alienator. They mean well, but will lose control because the intensity of their feelings overwhelms them.

The characteristics of active alienation are:

Lashing out at the other parent in front of the children. Their problem has more to do with loss of self-control when they are upset than with a sinister motivation.
After calming down, active alienators realize that they were wrong. They usually try to repair any damage or hurt to the children. During the making up, such parents can be very comforting and supportive of the child’s feelings.

Like naïve alienators, they are able to differentiate between their needs and those of the children by supporting the children’s desire to have a relationship with the other parent.

Like naïve alienators, active alienators allow the children to have different feelings and beliefs from their own. During the flare-ups of anger, however, the delineation between the child and parent’s beliefs can become very blurry until the parent calms down and regains control. For the most part, older children have their own opinions about both parents based upon personal experience rather than what they are told by others. To keep peace, the older child usually learns to keep their opinions to themselves. Younger and more trusting children become more confused and vulnerable to their parents’ manipulations.

They have the ability to respect the court’s authority and, for the most part, comply with court orders. However, they can be very rigid and uncooperative with the other parent. This is usually a passive attempt to strike back at the other parent for some injustice.

Active alienators are usually willing to accept professional help when they or the children have a problem that does not go away. They are sincerely concerned about their children’s adjustment to the divorce. Harboring old feelings continues to be a struggle, but active alienators continue to hope for a speedy recovery from their pain.

3. Obsessed Alienation

“I love my children. If the court can’t protect them from their abusive father, I will. Even though he’s never abused the children, I know it’s a matter of time. The children are frightened of their father. If they don’t want to see him, I’m not going to force them. They are old enough to make up their own minds.”

The obsessed alienator is a parent, or sometimes a grandparent, with a cause: to align the children to his or her side and together, with the children, campaign to destroy their relationship with the targeted parent. For the campaign to work, the obsessed alienator enmeshes the children’s personalities and beliefs into their own. This is a process that takes time but one that the children, especially the young, are completely helpless to see and combat. It usually begins well before the divorce is final. The obsessed parent is angry, bitter or feels betrayed by the other parent. The initial reasons for the bitterness may actually be justified. They could have been verbally and physical abused, raped, betrayed by an affair, or financially cheated. The problem occurs when the feelings won’t heal but instead become more intense because of being forced to continue the relationship with a person they despise because of their common parenthood. Just having to see or talk to the other parent is a reminder of the past and triggers the hate. They are trapped with nowhere to go and heal.

The characteristics of obsessed alienation are:

They are obsessed with destroying the children’s relationship with the targeted parent.
They having succeeded in enmeshing the children’s personalities and beliefs about the other parent with their own.

The children will parrot the obsessed alienator rather than express their own feelings from personal experience with the other parent.

The targeted parent and often the children cannot tell you the reasons for their feelings.

Their beliefs sometimes becoming delusional and irrational. No one, especially the court, can convince obsessed alienators that they are wrong. Anyone who tries is the enemy.

They will often seek support from family members, quasi-political groups or friends that will share in their beliefs that they are victimized by the other parent and the system. The battle becomes “us against them.” The obsessed alienator’s supporters are often seen at the court hearings even though they haven’t been subpoenaed.

They have an unquenchable anger because they believe that the targeted parent has victimized them and whatever they do to protect the children is justified.

They have a desire for the court to punish the other parent with court orders that would interfere or block the targeted parent from seeing the children. This confirms in the obsessed alienator’s mind that he or she was right all the time.

The court’s authority does not intimidate them.

The obsessed alienator believes in a higher cause, protecting the children at all cost.

The obsessed alienator will probably not want to read what is on these pages because the content just makes them angrier.

There are no effective treatment protocols that have been validated for either the obsessed alienator or the PAS children. The courts and mental health professionals are sincere in wanting to help these families but their efforts frequently fail. The best hope for these children is early identification of the symptoms and prevention. After the alienation is entrenched and the children become “true believers” in the parent’s cause, the children may be lost to the other parent for years to come. I realize this is a sad statement, but I have yet to find an effective intervention, by anyone, including the courts that can rehabilitate the alienating parent and child. There can still be hope in that spontaneous reunification can occur, usually in response to a crisis that causes the alienated child to reach out to the rejected parent.

Where can I learn more?

There are many books available on the subject of Parental Alienation and Hostile agressive parenting.

What can I do to help?

Join our cause! As a member of our Parental Alienation Awareness Day Causes campaign you will always be the first to get the updates! Any and all Parental Alienation Awareness Day specific issues will originate through our causes camapaign site, here is a link:…

Want change? Tell 2 people every day! At Fathers4Justice we practice what we preach, we make it a point to bring about awareness to our many concerns about the welfare and health of our children. societ’s children every day. This website is one way, we also promote awareness through education, we wear Fathers4Justice gear and encourage all to share their experiences and knowledge every where they go.

Special Thanks!

We at Fathers4Justice would like to take the time to offer a very special, “Thank You” to the founder of Parental Alienation Awareness Day, Sarvy Emo. I have had the distinct pleasure of communicating with Sarvy Emo several times over the years. I was in fact honored to be considered to be on their National Board of Directors at one point in time. Sarvy is a true hero, a professional and more importantly, she is a children’s rights advocate and you know what? She doesn’t even have to be! She does so because it is in the best interest of our children. Here is more on the founder of Parental Alienation Awareness Day, Sarvy Emo:

Fall of 2005:
Sarvy Emo learns about Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting because of what her friend’s children were going through. Trying to directly educate the children’s other parent and family about how their behavior was harming the children yielded no positive results, so Sarvy Emo tries to publish an article about the harm Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting behaviors do to children in the local paper, but gets refused. So Sarvy Emo thinks of the idea of an Awareness Day in an effort to try to get as many people as possible to educate Roger’s ex, her family, and the media, about how PA and HAP behaviors harm the innocent children in the middle. Of course, Awareness Day very quickly became more than about 2 children, but about ALL the children all over the world experiencing these harmful behaviors.

December 2005:
Sarvy Emo launches the first Parental Alienation Awareness Day website, with target Awareness Day being March 28th, Roger’s birthday.

January 2006:
Sarvy Emo emails Dr. Warshak to ask his assistance. He suggests moving Awareness Day to April 25th, the day he will be in Toronto to present a workshop about the topic. Sarvy agrees, a decision she regrets forever, but a decision that worked out for the betterment of Awareness Day as April is Child Abuse Awareness month in the United States.

Mid-February 2006:
Sarvy Emo meets Robin Denison and Kim Griswold in a newsgroup. They become pivotal both in the success of Awareness Day and the following Organization that was formed from it.

April 2006:
Hazel Davis has the idea of asking her State Governor, Joe Baldacci, to officially proclaim April 25th as Parental Alienation Awareness Day! Click here to get a copy of that Proclamation. This gives PAAO the idea to go after all US States and Canadian Provinces. Robin Denison spearheads the effort.

April 2006:
The 1st Annual Parental Alienation Awareness Day is a huge success with participants from around the globe, showing just how wide spread this problem is!
Mr. Harvey Shapiro does a workshop on Parental Alienation in Toronto, and in Miami.
PAAO offers a 24hr marathon of free chat room sessions with volunteer professionals, including Dr. Catherine Cain, Dr. Michael Bone, Dr. Ken Lewis, Dr. Amy Baker, Dr. Robert Evans, Dr. Barry Brody, Dr. David Britton, Dr. Reena Sommers, Dr. Pamela Wright, Christina McGhee. .

August 2006:
Sarvy Emo, Robin Denison and Neil Vercoe register a Canadian based global organization named Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) with its’ mission being education and awareness of these issues.

September 2006:
Harvey Shapiro, Kim Griswold and Dr. Ludwig Lowenstein join the Board of Directors of PAAO.

April 2007:
Thanks to hundreds of volunteers, the 2nd Annual Parental Alienation Awareness Day is an even bigger success than the previous year. With media and television mentioning the date, more U.S. States proclaiming April 25th Parental Alienation Awareness Day as well as the country of Bermuda proclaiming the day, and a 2-day Conference co-sponsored by PAAO held in Florida, offering Continuing Education credits to professionals attending to learn more about Parental Alienation. Speakers include: Dr. Stephen Ceci, Dr. Michael Bone, Dr. Randy Kolin, Dr. Stephen Herman, , Dr. Douglas Darnall, Attorney Charles Jamieson, Attorney David Carico and retired Police Officer, Harvey Shapiro.

February 2008:
New Board is elected to PAAO by its’ members. The new board consists of Sarvy Emo, Kim Griswold, Robin Denison, Robert Samery, Roger van Maris, Catherine McWillie, Chrissy Chrzanowski, Will Hayes.

April 2008:
The 3rd Annual Parental Alienation Awareness Day goes smoothly with peaceful rallies and events all over the globe. PAAO sponsors a series of webinars offering Continuing Education hours to professionals. Presenters include Harvey Shapiro, Dr. Reena Sommer, Dr. Michael Bone, Dr. Robert Evans, Dr. Ken Lewis, and Jeff Parks LMFT.

August 2008:
PAAO changes their logo to the blue and pink heart to better represent their mission and mandate.

August 2008:
PAAO’s application for Charitable status finally gets accepted, retro-active to August 2007!

If you read this article you know, Sarvy Emo did not have to be involved in Parental Alienation and the awareness necessary at all. Sarvy stepped up because she saw her friends children being abused and she wanted to help. Sarvy is a perfect example of the type of person necessary to affect a change. We need more people like Sarvy on this planet. THANK YOU AGAIN Sarvy Emo for all that you do, I really do know all of the hard work, personal loss, financial loss everything that goes into working in a cause such as this for our children.

And the rest as they say is history…