Children should not be allowed to drive the visitation bus!

By Linda J. Gottlieb, L.M.F.T., L.C.S.W. ~

To any rational, mature, objective parent or professional, the reason for this declaration could be justified by merely pondering the following question: “How reassured would you feel if you were standing trial for a crime, and your jury was comprised entirely of 18-year-olds?”

The reason children should not be empowered to make a decision about visitation with a parent is as obvious as why no one would feel comfortable having only 18 year olds sitting in judgment of us. A child’s judgment, insight, perception, reality testing, and emotions only barely reach maturity by the END of adolescence.

One only has to read the epistemological research and studies undertaken by Jean Piaget, philosopher and developmental psychologist, who wrote the “Bible” upon which educators rely to understand the cognitive development of children.Alienation is a crime - 2015Children do not have the emotional and cognitive abilities do evaluate for themselves what is in their best interests; to theorize what it would be like to have a parent eradicated from their lives; to be able to discriminate what is rational, truthful, and moral amidst all the information their parents and other adults impart to them—especially about the malicious, fabricated, and fanciful data from the alienating parent. Children, for example, think very concretely until the age of 8; that is why they actually do believe, “Step on a crack, break my mother’s back.”

Not until much older, can they discriminate reality from fantasy, which is why they should not see horror shows until much older. The ability to think abstractly starts at the beginning of adolescence and is still insufficiently mature by 18. Children lack wisdom! And children further do not have the emotional wherewithal to contradict the alienating parent—-if that parent is the residential parent—-as they are so dependent upon that parent.

So to placate the alienated parent regarding the visit refusal, the court sanctions it by making an ineffective order for the child to undergo a course of individual therapy in the hopes of readying the child for a relationship with the alienated parent. Every time I hear the unsubstantiated platitude for the therapist, “to prepare the child for contact with the alienated parent,” I want to erupt.

Because of their immature cognitive and emotional abilities as previously discussed, children do not possess the facility for abstraction. They cannot participate in a theoretical discussion about what an appropriate relationship entails; nor can they comprehend a desire for something in the abstraction. A child, therefore, cannot have a discussion about desiring a relationship with someone who is in the absentia—-especially a brainwashed child; nor can a child participate in determining what to expect from the relationship with that “someone.”

That “someone” needs to be concrete, in person, in the flesh and blood. The therapist cannot, therefore, prepare the child through intellectualism and abstraction for the re-building of a relationship with someone else. To be able to do this is a fantasy perpetuated by an adversarial child custody system in order to appease the parties and deceive one another into believing that the alienation is being addressed. Individual therapy will not be able to resolve this. To do is also a fantasy perpetuated by the mental health community—-partially out of ignorance, partially out of an opposing belief system from this therapist’s about the power of the therapist and about how people change, and partially to assure our continued employment. I have lost count of the number of preposterous requests I have received asking me to treat a child whom I have never met in order “to ready them to reunite” with a parent, whom I have also never met and know nothing about. I am being asked to treat a relationship without having observed and examined it!

Would a doctor diagnose for a disease without observing/examining the patient?
But why is therapy necessary at all to connect a child to a loving and formally loved parent? The PAS-aware professional must educate the judicial system that PAS children’s expressed hatred for and refusal to visit with the targeted/alienated parent are not their true feelings—-no more than these were the feelings of the thousands of foster children with whom I had worked with during a period of 24 years: not a single foster child ever expressed a hatred for her/his parents or a refusal to visit. Indeed, the two most frequently asked questions were, “When can I go home?” and “When is my next visit with my mommy and daddy?” You have to be carefully taught to hate and fear—-especially a parent.

PAS children are caught and trapped by their feelings and position: on the one hand, these children love and crave their relationship with their targeted/alienated parent; on the other hand, they are terrified of betraying their alienating parent by expressing their true feelings.
The professionals which impact child custody—-especially the judge—-must release these children from their trap by relieving them from making the decision about whether to visit or not.

The professionals who impact child custody and visitation must assume the responsibilities for which we were charged when we were licensed by our respective professions; that is, we must assume our responsibility of guaranteeing the PAS child’s right to a meaningful relationship with both parents—-that starts with the enforcement of the visitation rights of the non-residential parent.

End Parental Alienation ~~  New Service:

Linda J. Kase Gottlieb has teamed up with an attorney and certified mediator to offer low cost divorce mediation services as well as low cost services to pro se alienated parents who will need help with confronting their situation.

Naturally, Linda will be supporting joint legal custody with 50/50 physical custody when both parents are fit.  See More

By Linda J. Gottlieb, L.M.F.T., L.C.S.W.

Recently published book, The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Family Therapy and Collaborative Systems Approach to Amelioration

The PAS-aware professional must educate the judicial system that PAS children’s expressed hatred for and refusal to visit with the targeted/alienated parent are not their true feelings.

Source: Children’s Rights: Children should not be allowed to drive the visitation bus!

Men’s rights movement

Google Community FR Pic1 - 2015The men’s rights movement (MRM) is a part of the larger men’s movement. It branched off from the men’s liberation movement in the early 1970s. The men’s rights movement is made up of a variety of groups and individuals who are concerned with issues of male disadvantage, discrimination and oppression.[1][2] The movement focuses on issues in numerous areas of society (including family law, parenting, reproduction, domestic violence) and government services (including education, compulsory military service, social safety nets, and health policies) which purportedly discriminate against men.Family Courts Abusing Children's Rights - 2015

Some scholars consider the men’s rights movement or parts of the movement to be a backlash to feminism.[3] Men’s rights activists contest claims that men have greater power, privilege or advantage than women do and argue that the women’s movement has “gone too far” and harmed men, especially in areas related to child custody, child support, and in division of marital assets during =-hero

Claims and activities associated with the men’s rights movement have been criticized by scholars, the Southern Poverty Law Center and commentators. Some sectors of the movement have been described as misogynistic.

AFLA - Causes 1 - 2015Source: Men’s rights movement – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Politics of Fatherhood

by Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D.

Fatherhood is rapidly becoming the number one social policy issue in America. President Bill Clinton stated in 1995 that

“the single biggest social problem in our society may be the growing absence of fathers from their children’s homes, because it contributes to so many other social problems.”
~ President Bill Clinton

In 1997, Congress created task forces to promote fatherhood, and in 1998 the governors’ and mayors’ conferences followed. President George W. Bush recently unveiled a $315 million dollar package for responsible fatherhood.” Nonprofit organizations such as the National Fatherhood Initiative were formed in the mid-1990s. Fatherhood was seen as the most serious social problem by almost 80% of respondents to a 1996 Gallup poll (NFI 1996 1 ).

Fatherhood advocates insist that the crisis of fatherless children is “the most destructive trend of our generation” (Blankenhorn 1995 1 ). Virtually every major social pathology has been linked to fatherlessness: violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, truancy, teen pregnancy, suicide — all correlate more strongly to fatherlessness than to any other single factor. The majority of prisoners, juvenile detention inmates, high school dropouts, pregnant teenagers, adolescent murderers, and rapists all come from fatherless homes (Daniels 1998; NFI 1996). The connection is so strong that controlling for fatherlessness erases the relationships between race and crime and between low income and crime (Kamarck and Galston 1990).

Yet despite its salience in public policy debates and within psychology, sociology, and law, fatherhood has received little attention from political scientists.

This neglect is not a minor omission. Arguably it is what has left the phenomenon unexplained. For despite a decade of attention, little attempt has been made to account for where the fatherhood crisis comes from in the first place. While it doubtless has a number of contributing social and economic causes that stretch back decades, there is evidence that the critical dimensions it has assumed in the last decade proceed at least in part from public policy, and that the problem should be seen less as sociological or psychological and more as political.

Continue reading The Politics of Fatherhood

Elections 2016 Candidates’ policy positions that directly address families.

Where Presidential Candidates Stand on Supporting Families

With the focus during this presidential race on Obamacare, immigration reform, terrorism, and the economy, it’s not surprising that the leading Republican and Democratic candidates have had little to say about what they would do to support strong families. Moreover, the media haven’t been particularly interested in what the candidates would do once elected to build and maintain what is arguably the most important institution in American culture.

Given my role as president of National Fatherhood Initiative, you might not be surprised that I’m concerned by this lack of attention. I became further concerned as I watched the results roll in during the Iowa caucus. That’s because Ted Cruz‘ win on the Republican side was helped greatly by Iowa Republicans’ desire to vote for a candidate who shares their values. There’s no doubt that Iowans — Republicans and Democrats — have long-shared the value of promoting strong families. The issue — which was certainly more prominent in the last election cycle — has been lost on pretty much everyone except, of course, the people who matter most — voters.

To be fair, I’m convinced that each of the leading candidates believes in the importance of supporting families. But the proof is in the pudding, as they say. And I have no doubt they’d go about supporting families a bit differently. So I decided to conduct a review of the five leading candidates’ stands on promoting strong families and, most importantly, how they would help build and maintain strong families if elected. I not only wanted to know for myself where they stand. I wanted to help you and others who care about this issue to be better informed when deciding who will get your vote.

To conduct my review, I went straight to today’s political version of the horse’s mouth — the candidates’ “for president” websites. While acknowledging that some positions each of the candidates has articulated might indirectly strengthen families — such as policies to get more Americans working — I looked for policy positions that directly address strengthening families.

The Republicans

  • Ted Cruz seeks to “restore a culture of life, marriage, and family.” Unfortunately, Mr. Cruz offers nothing substantive on how he would restore that culture. His website simply touts his record on family planning (primarily his efforts to defund Planned Parenthood), anti-abortion legislation, and strengthening marriage.
  • Donald Trump says absolutely nothing about strengthening families. Period.
  • Marco Rubio offers the most substantive, detailed position on strengthening families among the leading Republicans. Mr. Rubio would seek to reform the tax code to treat parents fairly with, for example, a new $2,500 per child tax credit. He would seek to increase the availability of 4 to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for new parents upon the birth of a child, to care for ailing parents, for seriously ill employees, and for military families. He would pay for this leave through tax incentives for businesses that offer such leave rather than through legislative mandate. And he would promote marriage by allowing states to use federal anti-poverty funding for programs that use marriage as a means to lift families out of poverty.

The Democrats

  • Hilary Clinton‘s efforts to strengthen families would rest on guaranteeing paid family and medical leave. Specifically, Ms. Clinton would like to see up to 12 weeks of paid family leave under most of the same conditions as Mr. Rubio — leave for new parents, for those caring for elderly parents, and for seriously ill employees. She would pay for the cost with increased taxes on the wealthy to avoid burdening businesses with the cost.
  • Bernie Sanders position also rests on guaranteeing up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for the same reasons as Ms. Clinton. In contrast to Ms. Clinton and Mr. Rubio, he would pay for it through an insurance-style program that would be funded by a deduction from workers’ paychecks. Given that he likens it to Social Security, I assume workers would not be able to opt out of this deduction.

Depending on whether you tend to look at the proverbial glass as half full or half empty, you might be encouraged that three of the leading candidates would seek to implement reforms that would directly strengthen families. On the other hand, you might be discouraged that two of them have chosen not to address this important institution with specific reforms. Either way, I hope this post has given you a little more information to chew on as you decide which candidate to support. And maybe, just maybe, the candidates will have more to say on this issue as the campaign moves on to New Hampshire and beyond.

FatherSource Email Sign UpThis post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

Christopher A. Brown discusses the presidential candidates and where they stand on supporting families in his latest post.

Source: Where Presidential Candidates Stand on Supporting Families

Be Good to Yourself. You’ll Be Better to Your Kids.

Continue reading Elections 2016 Candidates’ policy positions that directly address families.