Some time during my first semester in the men’s dormitory at Cornell (in those days co-ed dorms were mere fantasies), the guys on the floor began talking about their parents. The more we talked, the more we came to value all that our parents had done for us. Mix this new awareness with some homesickness and the result often was a letter or call home. (We had no phones in our rooms and cell phones were science fiction; we stood in line to use the one public telephone in the hall. The wait was not too long because long-distance charges were steep back in the day of regulated telecommunications.) In my case it was a letter. My parents saved the letter I wrote, re-reading it at times when my appreciation was not so evident.
Going off to college clearly stirred renewed affection and appreciation for parents. I have never seen or heard this phenomenon discussed in print or at professional conferences. But it was very real to those of us in Founders Hall, Ithaca, back in 1966.
I was reminded of this by a father who told me recently that his estranged son initiated more contact with him in the first two weeks of college than he had in the prior two years. The boy clearly seeks to reclaim his identity as a child with two parents.
Parents with estranged relationships with their children should take heart in this phenomenon. If your children attend college away from home, this may give you an opportunity to renew ties with them. Read the article on Huffpost.
In April, when the film version of Atlas Shrugged: Part One was released, I posted a blog about Ayn Rand’s novel on The Huffington Post. I mentioned that many celebrities are Rand fans. (Click here for a list of celebrities.) Add Steve Jobs to the list of high achievers who found inspiration in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak had this to say in a Bloomberg interview about Jobs: “I think Atlas Shrugged was one of his guides in life.” Learn more.
Update: A Facebook thread reports that Steve Jobs attended the busy opening night of the Atlas Shrugged film. This seems to confirm that he is a fan.
Most people never have their day in court. They have no need. They commit no crimes. They avoid lawsuits. And they never testify at a trial. Most of us never even serve on a jury, despite being summoned every few years.
The closest most people come to a courtroom is watching “Law & Order,” unless they get divorced or have ringside seats to the breakup of the marriage of a relative or friend. Then they sink into the quagmire known as our family law system. Nearly everyone who enters this system gives it low marks. The so-called “winners” and the “losers.” Everyone agrees. The polite way to say it: the system is deeply flawed. Privately, attorneys, judges, and litigants bemoan: the system sucks. Read the article on Huffpost.
Posted in alienated parents/rejected parents, child abuse, child custody litigation, parental alienation/parental alienation syndrome
Tagged Alec Baldwin, divorce, divorce court, divorce poison, domestic violence, family law, high conflict divorce, parental alienation, Warshak
I set out to write this message for rejected fathers and quickly realized that I wanted to tell them the same things I told rejected mothers on Mother’s Day. So here is the prior blogpost, intact, except that Father replaces Mother.
Father’s Day is not a happy occasion for fathers whose children reject them. On this day your children should be honoring you and celebrating your contributions to their lives. Instead, their love for you has been disowned under the influence of an insecure or vindictive parent.
If you have come to terms with your children’s rejection, and moved on with your life, dwelling on the significance of this day may merely open old wounds. Some fathers, though, may want to consider the following suggestion. Continue reading
In The Monkey and the Cat, an Aesop fable put into verse by 17th century poet Jean de La Fontaine, Betrand the monkey induces Raton the cat to pull roasting chestnuts from the fire, by promising him a share. The cat scoops them from the burning embers one by one, burning his paw in the process, as the monkey gobbles them up. A maid entering the room ends the activity and the cat gets nothing for its pains.
The fable provides the French idiom, “Tirer les marrons du feu” (literally: pulling chestnuts out of fire), meaning to act as someone’s dupe. The English idiom, “a cat’s paw,” is defined as one used unwittingly by another as a tool to accomplish the other’s purposes.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in March 2011, upheld the validity of the cat’s paw concept in the discrimination case, Staub v. Proctor Hospital (131 S.Ct. 1186) in March 2011. The Court ruled that “if a supervisor performs an act motivated by . . . animus that is intended by the supervisor to cause an adverse employment action, and if that act is a proximate cause of the ultimate employment action, then the employer is liable.” Continue reading
When a child’s affection for a parent has been effectively poisoned, the result can range from sad and emotionally devastating to severe tragedy. Some cases of divorce poison leave a parent bereaved at the total loss of a relationship with a child. Less frequently, divorce poison leads to the ugly cases that make the evening news: suicides and homicides. Continue reading
People are wondering how the Shriver-Schwarzenegger split and his infidelity will affect their children. Coping with their parents’ separation is difficult enough for children. In this matter it is complicated by the father’s infidelity, the revelation of a half-sibling, and the public nature of their family’s troubles. Each family is different, but we can make educated guesses about what is in store for children in such circumstances. How well they do with the challenges depends, in part, on how their parents respond to the children’s needs. Read the article on Huffpost.
Time.com interviewed me for an article on how children of celebrities cope with parental betrayal. Read the article.
The LA Times has listed the top ten books for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver. Divorce Poison is on the list. Read more.
Survey results just released show near unanimous agreement among professionals that children can be manipulated by one parent to turn against the other parent. Continue reading