little girl holding justice scale

Better, Not Bitter:
Punishing the Kids for Parental Alienation


I couldn’t believe the recent case where the Michigan judge sent 3 children to juvenile detention for refusing to see their father. We’ve all heard about divorce and child custody cases that last until the children are 18 or older because the parents can’t seem to get along, no matter what. But the judge declared this to be parental alienation to the extreme.

In this case the children are 14, 10 and 9 years of age. Their mom and dad have been in court over various matters since the divorce was filed in 2009. It appears the mom claimed dad put hands on her, but the courts found no cause for her case. However, the children now believe it’s true and refuse to spend any time with their dad.

I have heard of cases similar to this, where one parent, usually the custodial parent, poisons the minds of the children against the non-custodial parent. But the kids are exhibiting some troubling signs. Reportedly, the children will not look at their dad, speak to him or touch food that his hands have previously touched. And they tap their feet to communicate with each other similar to Morse code. Huh? Say what?!

I have to agree that this case of parental alienation seems a little over the top, but putting the children in juvie doesn’t address the problem. In addition, the judge made reference to Charles Manson and compared the mind control the children are experiencing to what Manson did with his followers. All I could think is, “She said this to some kids in open court?!”

It seems to me she put the wrong people in detention.

If it is clear that the mom has been influencing the children to end their relationship with their father, why can’t the judge and the guardians ad litem (of which there are 3 – one for each child) take the kids and dad in the judge’s chambers and keep everyone there until somebody breaks?

Another novel idea might be to put the person who it appears is causing all the strife, the mom, behind bars instead of the kids. Maybe the children would have no choice but to establish a relationship with dad if mom was in detention instead of them. Maybe these ideas are extreme, but according to the judge this is one of the worst cases of parental alienation she’s ever seen.

The latest update is the kids have been released to attend summer camp at the dad’s request. He doesn’t seem like such a bad guy. But in toxic divorces everyone always loses.

What do you think about the judge ordering the kids to juvie for refusing to speak with their dad?