|P.A.S. the word on
|A website for parents struggling with parental alienation syndrome
Everyone knows about the atrocious circumstances that children in many third-world countries have to deal with. Starvation, lack of clean running water, disease, illiteracy and lack of education, loss of one (or both) parents due to many causes, ongoing civil war accompanied by violence and death. One of the most shockingly sad threats to a safe, harmonious childhood in Africa, the Middle-East and other countries in the world is the phenomenon known as "child soldiers". As stated on the web-page of Child Soldiers International: "It is immoral for adults to use children in their wars." I think everyone would agree...
Here in the West we are blessed with relatively peaceful and prosperous times. All the basic ingredients are available to be able to raise our children under the best possible circumstances with many opportunities for growth, development and happiness. Yet there are ongoing unseen wars here in Northwest that affect our children. Little, private wars, that happen behind closed doors of individual families. Fathers and mothers tearing each-other verbally apart right in front of the eyes of their own children. No one ever speaks about it, much less give the children victims of these wars the attention they deserve. Divorce raises the stakes. The temptation is all too great to snag a suggestive foot-soldier... Children are enlisted to assist one or the other parent (or both) in their private war against their ex- spouse. The psychological scars and damage that can come from being recruited in these wars can be just as deep as being a real child soldier, abducted from home and family to be forced to fight in a war that is not your own. How much more trauma might it cause to realize later on that you were the one used to hurt or destroy someone that you loved? Your own mother or father... Your own family? Who could ever condone the act of putting a weapon into a child's hand, saying: "Okay, use this against your mom (or dad)"? Yet, this is precisely what happens on a daily basis. Perhaps not literally, but that is the only difference between the crude act of physical violence and what happens when a child is indoctrinated to reject either one of his parents.
The worst part of this process is that it is done by the people the child loves and trusts. The child's own family brainwashes the child to reject the other parent.
Ancient religions were occasionally known to demand child- sacrifice to a cruel god. People so full of anxiety for their own safety used their children to 'guarantee' their own well-being. This is not so different from using children to fight against their own parent in a private Ego War. The self-esteem of one (or both) of the parents is so fragile that the child sacrifice is deemed necessary to preserve the parent's own psychological well-being. Unfortunately, after their child is gone, they are still left with their own fear and anxiety. Alone.
This is a warning to all of us. We must stop this destructive way of raising our children. We all lose in the end.