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From Advocate to Flying Monkey in Cases of Narcissistic Parental Alienation


In cases of parental alienation involving a narcissistic parent, the role of the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) can be pivotal in determining the outcome of custody battles and the well-being of the children involved. However, what happens when the GAL, intended to be a neutral advocate for the children, unwittingly becomes a "flying monkey" for the manipulative tactics of the narcissistic alienating parent?


The term "flying monkey" originates from the Wizard of Oz, where the Wicked Witch of the West sends her flying monkeys to do her bidding. In the context of parental alienation, the flying monkey dynamic refers to individuals manipulated by the alienating parent to further their agenda, often at the expense of the targeted parent and children.


The GAL is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of the children, conducting investigations, interviewing family members, and making recommendations regarding custody and visitation arrangements. Initially, the GAL is expected to maintain impartiality and objectivity in their assessments.


Narcissistic alienating parents are known for their charm, manipulation, and ability to portray themselves as victims. They may use subtle tactics to influence the GAL, such as presenting a polished facade, gaslighting the targeted parent, or portraying the children as being fearful or resistant to spending time with the other parent.


Over time, the GAL may unknowingly align with the alienating parent, falling prey to their persuasive tactics and distorted narratives. The GAL may start to echo the alienator's concerns, dismiss evidence of alienation, and show bias against the targeted parent, thereby becoming a conduit for the alienator's agenda.


As the GAL becomes enmeshed in the dynamics of the case, they may develop confirmation bias, selectively interpreting information and evidence in a way that supports their preconceived beliefs. This can lead to a skewed assessment of the situation, favoring the alienating parent and overlooking the true impact of parental alienation on the children.


When the GAL adopts the role of a flying monkey for the narcissistic alienating parent, the children's well-being is jeopardized. Their voices may be silenced, their emotional needs neglected, and their relationships with the targeted parent undermined.


The GAL's failure to recognize and address the alienation can have long-lasting consequences on the children's mental health and sense of safety.

In conclusion, the transformation of a Guardian ad Litem from advocate to flying monkey in cases of narcissistic parental alienation highlights the complex dynamics at play in high-conflict custody disputes. It underscores the importance of ongoing training and supervision for GALs to recognize and counteract manipulation tactics, safeguard the best interests of the children, and uphold the principles of fairness and justice in family court proceedings.

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