Our judges and decision-makers must recognize the rights of the child to his or her family, and the rights of the parents and grandparents to their children and grandchildren.
The UK’s former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith both realized, in February 2012, that it was necessary to make changes. “Courts will have to ensure that children have an equal right to a proper relationship with both parents, and there will be no inbuilt bias towards father and mother—this principle will become law.”
Canada can do no less. Our justice system has been paying lip service to ‘the best interests of the child.’ Now, we must achieve this reality.
When divorce, separation, or death occurs in families, CGRA and many provinces in Canada recommends mediation rather than relying entirely on the courts in the custody process. Take the decisions out of the adversarial atmosphere; use discussion and compromise and involve the children.
Include the topic of Parental Alienation as a major part of Family Studies in our school curriculum. There are many DVD’s on this topic—including Parental Alienation Awareness that will be useful— and discussion with knowledgeable counsellors will help to reduce instances of this destructive behaviour.
Pre-marriage counselling of this extremely serious issue would also be advisable, in view of Canada’s divorce rate.
The problems created by Parental Alienation are extremely serious. We often speak of the importance of family values. Even disintegrated nuclear families have values and rights (i.e., child visitation), which must be preserved and respected to prevent further total collapse of family networks. To do less is to sacrifice even more generations of children on the altar of alienation, condemning them to familial maladjustment and what often results, for the children and non-custodial parents and their relatives, lifelong loss. ( from Dr. Gardner 1992)