parenting is child abuse!
don't have to be physically harmed to be abused. Hostile parenting
by an uncooperative parent is CHILD ABUSE! Hostile
parenting can cause a lifetime of emotional damage to a child.
Hostile parenting is very similar to interference of parenting but it is
much more widespread and involves many more issues than just
interference of parenting. In many cases hostile parents may not
directly interfere with parenting time, but make every other aspect of
the child's relationship with the other parent as difficult as possible.
and hostile parents often have a personal background, which may include
any one or more of the following
a personal history of emotional abuse against any of their children
and/or former spouse.
a history of anger management difficulties
may have either a poor family support network or a family that
supports them in their hostile parenting practices.
have been abused themselves as a child.
of broken common-law or marital relationships.
of having made false allegations of sexual or physical abuse against
a former partner(s)
of the behaviors and actions of a hostile parent
to promote more effective communication between parents.
Hostile parents will often not talk to their former spouse and try
to find ways to thwart any means of communication. Such
parents may refuse to get fax machines (even when they can afford
it) or divulge their E mail address. Hostile parents generally
do not want to have a paper trail which may show that they are being
uncooperative with the other parent.
wait until the last minute to settle summer vacation or holiday
periods. Hostile parents always are trying to find ways to
frustrate the other parent. Often the only time that a hostile
parent may cooperate is when they are threatened with imminent court
action or other third party intervention.
inform the other parent of upcoming school activities, events, or
holidays when the child may be off from school.
daycare providers who are their own friends and know will side with
them or bend the truth in their favor to help them make things
difficult for the other parent.
daycare workers who they know will not get "involved" to
help resolve problems or to keep silent about irregularities
involving the children. When a daycare provider does try to do what
is right or to expose problem, then the hostile parent will switch
to another babysitter without notice to the other parent.
daycare providers that only they have had the chance to talk to
without any consultation or involvement with the other parent.
ask the other parent to care for the child when the child is sick
but instead prefer to take the child to daycare providers outside of
the children's own family members.
giving the other parent the chance to parent
the children when the other parent is more than
the other parent that the children are too sick to come for their
regularly scheduled access visit or to be late because of illness.
difficulties for the children to see the other parent on special
occasions such as birthdays, father's or mother's day, special
family gatherings, etc.
the children feel guilty about seeing the other parent.
that the non-custodial parent return the children precisely on time
while the custodial parent enjoy flexibility and is able to set
their own times.
to have a third party act as a mediator, coordinator, or have any
other professional involved in helping the parents co-parent
the children to counselors or other professionals to get letters of
support in a custody dispute but do not want those counselors to
meet or to obtain any input from the other parent.
(Referred to in the industry as recommendation letters for
to participate in mediation or any kind of assessment program, which
involves the participation of all the members of the family.
to consider any kind of fair and equal parenting arrangement for the
children when such an arrangement is desired by the other parent and
were circumstances would permit such an arrangement.
exhibiting anger towards the other parent, months or years after the
parental alienation techniques designed to keep the children and
step children from seeing the other parent.
to permit the non custodial parent to take the child to any kind of
counseling or other third party professional in case the child may
reveal something that they do not want the non custodial parent to
find out about.
to disclose important and relevant information from the non
custodial parent which
may be relevant to
effective parenting of the child, such as refusing to disclose place
of employment, phone numbers, contact numbers, health card
information, etc., when there is no valid reason to keep this
it difficult for the non-custodial parent to communicate with such
as having the answering machine always on or having others pick up
and screen calls, etc., etc.
to promote methods of communication such as E mail or Fax machines.
Hostile parents will say that they don't have E mail when they do or
say their fax machine is broken.
the children to lie and to hide about what is happening in their
each of the examples above, the hostile parent gets just what he or
she is after, usually the feeling of power and a sense of revenge
against the other parent. As a consequence, the child and
the non-custodial parent lose a precious part of their life together.
For the child the damage is life-long.
What can be done to
stop hostile parenting
There are some very
simple and effective strategies that will help to reduce the incidence
of hostile parenting.
Require parents to
communicate by way of fax machine or E mail. This method of
communication helps both parents to relay request and pass
information while leaving a paper trail. This puts a hostile
parent on notice that a request has been made. Generally
hostile parents will not be as aggressive when they know that others
will be able to see what they are not acting in the best interests
of their child.
Have third parties
such as family coordinators to get involved with the family and to
monitor the communication between parents. Family Coordinators
ensure serve as valuable third party witnesses to ensure that
parents communicate effectively.
Parents must be taught
that there are consequences for emotionally abusing their child through
hostile parenting. The court must be effective in ensuring that
consequences are administered. Parents who learn that they can be
hostile and uncooperative without any consequences will only be
encouraged to continue with their hostile behavior.
stop the needless abuse of children, the Courts must:
a first step, to ensure fairness and to ensure in its orders that
BOTH parents are treated equally. This is the most powerful and
effective way for the court to gain respect for its orders..
parenting and shared responsibilities in raising the child must be
given top consideration. When both parents know that they have
a legally recognized status in their child's life, then both parents
will focus on maintaining their status by being the best parent they
can rather than trying to get the other parent out of the child's
life and risk having their parenting status removed by the court.
BOTH parents the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to parent
the child before making any final custody Order. When both
parents know they will have the opportunity to demonstrate their
parenting abilities their will be less incentive to act in a hostile
manner during the early stages of separation or divorce.
considerations must be made to the parent that demonstrates the
willingness and disposition to promote a relationship with the other
parent and to consistently act in the best interests of the child.
In summary, the courts
can be effective tool in eliminating child abuse caused by hostile
parenting providing they exercise their power in an appropriate and