Support group helps alienated parents

Once monthly, the Parental Alienation Risks Kids (PARK) support group meets to encourage parents through the processes of being a non-custodial parent in a divorce situation.

PARK meetings provide parents with the hope that their situation will get better, especially if the courts are involved, and that it is not their fault.

Parental alienation is a large issue affecting many divorce cases where custody is granted to one parent, leaving the other parent to only rarely see their child.

“We strive to remain child focused because it’s all about the kids and what parental alienation does to them,” said Rhonda Pisanello, spokesperson for PARK.

The PARK support group was founded last May and started out as just a couple of members working with Pisanello. The group has since grown to consist of six dedicated members, and meetings have been as large as 14.

“We can provide a lot of material and resources including books on different coping methods as well as a few personal references.”

One of the goals of the group is to make sure that parents understand that the way their child acts when they are alienated is not their fault.

Alienation affects different children in unique ways and their attitudes can sometimes reflect the coaxing or “brain washing” of the custodial parent.

“That’s one of the biggest things is that they know they’re not alone and they’re not the only ones going through it,” said Pisanello.

As well as monthly meetings, the PARK group works in coordination with the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization, PAAO, to increase knowledge in the community about this common issue.

Some of the things the group does with PAAO include the Bubbles of Love Campaign, which was held April 25, where people were invited to blow bubbles for 10 minutes at noon.

The idea of the bubbles is to show that love grows and that there is something everyone can do to be more aware of children who may be suffering through an alienation situation.

“Parents take things personally and a lot of them give up, so we offer them hope and understanding,” said Pisanello.

PARK, along with the PAAO, is working as a group to promote the awareness that Parental Alienation is an issue in our community.

Parents are welcome to join the PARK meetings even just to learn about the issues if they are uncomfortable in participating.

“Our hope and focus for this is to promote awareness so the courts and family law system don’t allow it to continue; we simply need more enforcement,” said Pisanello.

For more information and the next meeting date and place, email or call 403-598-9978.