Omaha World Herald Op-Ed: Maternal Gatekeeping Hurts Children

July 21, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

At the International Conference on Shared Parenting in Boston this past May, we were privileged to hear a presentation by psychologist Jennifer Harman. We’re equally privileged to read her article on maternal gatekeeping penned along with Attorney Nancy Shannon and registered nurse Shawna Thompson (Omaha World Herald, 7/20/17). Entitled “Maternal Gatekeeping Hurts Children,” the authors pull no punches. Good for them.

I’ve written a fair amount lately about parental alienation, the scurrilous campaign of disinformation about it and efforts to remedy its pernicious effects. I’ve always viewed maternal gatekeeping as, in part, simply one end of the spectrum of alienating behavior that includes everything from the seemingly innocent (“Don’t put the diaper on that way! Here, let me do it!”) to child abduction and even murder. Gatekeepers aren’t necessarily alienators, but their need to separate the child from its father partakes of similar motivations.

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