Welcome Back Pluto is Dr. Warshak’s New Parental Alienation Video for Kids and ParentsWritten by: Rob Print This Article
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Dr. Richard Warshak is a widely known psychologist who has focused his career on the impact of divorce on children. As the author of the 5-star reviewed book Divorce Poison New and Updated Edition: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing, he’s built a wide following among parents, grandparents, and relatives of children suffering from parental alienation child abuse.
While Divorce Poison does a great job explaining parental alienation and some of the possible countermeasures to it. But it is written for adults. While adult children suffering from the fallout of parental alienation might benefit from it, it’s not intended for reading by younger children.
There is a dire need for educational material for children to help them fight the destructive brainwashing coming from an emotionally abusive parent out to make them hate the other parent. Aside from Dr. Amy Baker’s book for middle school kids and teens that I discussed last year in my article Kids’ Parental Alienation Book: “I Don’t Want to Choose!”, there has been little material for kids available.
Helping Kids and Adults Understand Parental Alienation
Into this void arrives the Welcome Back Pluto video. Dr. Warshak teamed up with Trace Productions to create a video for everybody in the family about parental alienation, including kids. Possibly the only people who won’t benefit from it are some of the alienating parents and their allies who cannot accept that children need both their parents. Even kids who are not experiencing alienation themselves may benefit because they may become better able to help their friends and classmates cope with the abuse coming from an alienating parent.
Producer Tracy Ready’s daughter Olivia made her acting debut in the video playing Emily, a teenager struggling with the destructive effects of parental alienation. Illustrating how alienated children behave and why they feel as they do are central issues in any good coverage of parental alienation. For kids, seeing another kid with whom they might easily identify struggling with the problems they are having make the points of the video more understandable.
Target parents, or rejected parents as the video refers to them, are shown to be parents who are being actively disrespected and disliked. They may have feelings of resentment, anger, and hostility that have been aggravated by the alienating parent and the children aligned with the alienator. A parent who has been repeatedly told he or she is mean, hateful, ugly, stupid, and other insults coming from the alienator and repeated by the children over time is likely to develop a very negative attitude towards the alienated children. The video helps explain their reactions and put them into context.
Such a target parent is being emotionally abused by both the alienator and the children. In adult relationships, emotional abuse over time tends to cause the target to become retaliatory, sometime even abusive in return. The same can happen with emotionally abusive parents and children. By practicing parental alienation, the alienator may manage to create a destructive cycle of escalating emotional and psychological abuse that hurts everybody. Unsurprisingly, a lot of alienators were emotionally abused themselves as children. Beyond the immediate damage they are creating for the children and target parent, they are setting up the children to be emotionally abusive in relationships and to suffer from multiple mental health problems including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and personality disorders.
Dr. Warshak’s Videos On YouTube
Dr. Warshak provides a very brief introduction to parental alienation in this interview on YouTube.
Dr. Richard Warshak Brief Introduction to Parental Alienation
To get a flavor of the Welcome Back Pluto DVD, you can view an excerpt of one of the chapters.
Living in Shadow Land: The Plight of Rejected Parents (from Welcome Back, Pluto DVD)
You can find more coverage of parental alienation and related problems involving personality disorders and family court battles in the articles linked below.