Hostile Aggressive Parenting, what is it ...

Hostile-Aggressive Parenting (HAP) is defined as:

A general pattern of behaviour, manipulation, actions or decision-making of a person (usually a parent or guardian) that either directly or indirectly;

creates undue difficulties or interferences in the relationship of a child with another person (usually a parent or guardian) involved with the parenting and/or rearing of the child and/or,

promotes or maintains an unwarranted unfairness or inequality in the parenting arrangements between a child's parents and/or guardians and/or,

promotes ongoing and unnecessary conflict between parents and/or guardians which adversely affects the parenting, well-being and rearing of a child.

Hostile-Aggressive Parenting is most apparent in child-custody disputes and is used most often as a tool to align the child with one of the parents during litigation over custody or control of the child. However, HAP can be present in almost any situation where two or more people involved in a child's life are at odds with each other over how a child may be raised or influenced by the parties. HAP can be present to some extent even when couples are still living together. Hostile-Aggressive Parenting in its more severe forms can be considered an assault on the rights of a child and upon the very fundamental principles of fairness and justice.

Although Hostile-Aggressive Parenting is often confused with Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), a term coined by Dr. Richard Gardner, HAP and PAS are not the same. HAP refers to the behaviours, actions and decisions of a person, whereas, PAS relates to the psychological condition of the child. In the vast majority of cases HAP is the cause of PAS.

Hostile-Aggressive Parenting is not limited to the biological parents but also applies to any guardian - grandparents, extended family members, daycare providers and to any other person who may be involved in caring and rearing of a child. In some cases, it may even involve a parent in dispute with the child's grandparents, sometimes the parent's very own parent! Any form of interference to a normal, healthy relationship between a child and a person (most often one of the parents) caused by another person or agency having some control or influence over the child, is wrong and ultimately causes emotional and psychological harm to the child.

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