Hostile-Aggressive Parenting

While reading articles on the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization website, I followed links to this information about Hostile-Aggressive Parenting.

The difference between Parental Alienation Syndrome and Hostile Aggressive Parenting, according to this site, is that PAS refers to the psychological condition of the child, while HAS refers to the actions, behaviors, and decisions of the parent. No doubt, it is a “very serious and damaging form of abuse and maltreatment” (source: Hostile Aggressive Parenting).

Also from this site: “In general, parents exhibiting Hostile-Aggressive-Parenting have not succeeded in getting on with their own life and remain, instead, controlled by their negative emotions and continue to exercise power and control over their ex-spouse’s life, their ex-spouse’s parenting and to a large extent, over the children of the relationship as well. HAP parents will blame everyone else except themselves.”

You don’t say…

This is heartbreaking: “Hostile-aggressive parents are unable to appreciate the needs of their child and in many cases view their child as a possession belonging to them and no other persons have any right to the child, especially not the child’s other parent or other persons that the HAP parent does not like. Hostile-aggressive parents will use the child as a weapon against the other spouse and family members whenever they have the opportunity.”

Kids don’t ever deserve to be used as tools, pawns, game pieces, by anyone, least of all a parent, who is supposed to love them and care for them. The fact that this is so common it has a name tears me apart. What is wrong with so many people to do this, to persist in this, knowing they are hurting and damaging the kids?

There’s a form on the Hostile-Aggressive Parenting website to evaluate whether a person suffers from HAP. Notable to me were the following items:

*The subject parent has failed to promote a normal and healthy telephone communication between the child and another parent and has taken measures which hinder a child’s communication with another parent.

*The subject parent has taken the child to counselors, doctors or other health care professionals on an ongoing basis regarding the child’s behavioural or emotional problems without the prior knowledge, consent or participation of the other parent.

*The subject parent has withdrawn money from a child’s bank account and spent the money on their own personal uses rather than to ensure that the money is kept in trust for the child.

*The subject parent has unilaterally relocated the child’s place of residency further away from the other parent, family and friends without consulting the other parent prior to the move which has resulted in a change of schools for the child.

*The subject parent has encouraged a child to collaborate with him/her in making false allegations against the other parent.

*The subject parent has made allegations against the other parent involving sexual or physical abuse of the child with no evidence to support their claims.

*The subject parent has acted in an unfriendly or rude manner with the new partner of the other parent without just cause or has rejected friendly efforts by the new partner to try to work cooperatively for the benefit of the children.

The effects on the kids, not surprisingly, are far from good. One effect of HAP is a high level of conflict between the child and the custodial parent. According to the HAP site, “Children, especially those above the age of 7 to 8, may begin to show anger directed at their custodial HAP parent. Children at this age begin to come out of their shell and begin to develop a greater ability to reason and to differentiate right behaviour from wrong behaviour.”

How sad that the children, that young, differentiate between right and wrong so much better than the custodial parent.

About TheSmirkingCat

I am endlessly trying to make sense of a world that has completely and unapologetically lost its mind.
This entry was posted in child abuse, Hostile Aggressive Parenting, kids, Parental Alienation Syndrome, poor parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Hostile-Aggressive Parenting

  1. Little Wren says:

    Those actions are all, sadly, familiar. Too familiar.

  2. My ex wanted nothing to do with the children no matter how much I begged. He didn’t write, call, visit, pay any child support, or anything. Instead, he made many more babies with many more women, ended up in prsion a couple of times, and ultimately, sent me adoption papers so that my husband xould adopt them. I am hotile, but only when pushed.

  3. Smirking Cat says:

    I don’t understand such a lack of feeling for children.

  4. Denise says:

    The saddest part is that there are sooo many cases of Hostile Aggressive Parenting and yet, the family court system does nothing to stop it. And until the legal community chooses to do something about it, non-custodial parents all over the world will continue to fight their battles, with no help from the court system.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am the original author of the work on Hostile Aggressive Parenting and coined this phrase in 1994 when I started my research.

    Work still progresses in the evaluation process and there are updated evaluation forms. Anyone in the world who feels that they have been victimized by an HAP parent is welcome to contact me to review some of the latest HAP assessment tools which are currently not published on the web. I am looking for continued feedback.

    Your truly
    Vernon Beck, Program Founder

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am currently in a situation where I am the step mom to three kids, now ages 16, 15 and 12. Their mom is in her 10th year of a custody battle that began in 2000 when the kids were 5, 4, and 2.
    she has done everything on the quiz for HAP and is on her twelve lawyer. It is a living hell.
    My husband loves his kids and refuses to give up. The courts do absoulutly nothing to solve this problem and the kids are now really screwed up. Their mom has used false allegations of sexual abuse and physical abuse so much that the police are now looking to put charges against her for her false police reports….. nightmare

  7. Anonymous says:

    I'd like to say the HAP isn't always the CP, in my case in fact it is the NCP that shows all the indications of HAP! All I can do is what I know to be best and what I've been advised to do by professionals which is to pour all the love and good I can into the child's life. No matter how much I try to include the NCP it's fruitless.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am in the exact position of the person above. Many of the writtings in the article on HAP research points to the CP, I as well am the custodial parent who attempts to combat all of the signs of HAP from the children's NCP who I managed to leave after many years of physical and emotional abuse as well as jealousy and control. I am hoping to see more awareness as it is of utmost importance when it comes to the well being of our childrens mental health. Raising confident caring compassionate well rounded children is my goal although very difficult to do when they have so much influence from an unhealthy role model.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have seen an Hostile Aggressive Parent at work…this behavior has been passed to her by her mom, and on the cycle goes. The child in question is speaking as if going to court is a given when you have a baby.
    Did you know that judges have sensitivity training for single moms? Does this result in unbiased judges??? NO, it certainly does not.

    The above Hostile Aggressive Parent lives in BC and in our city, the judges and lawyers don't tend to even acknowledge that Hostile Aggressive Parenting exists.

    Apparently the only way to approach the denial of access is to bring a “Contempt of Court” action against the HAP parent. When I asked about this at the court registry they said they had never seen it done here, and all they have is an application form. Then a judge has to decide whether the COntempt of Court will be heard. And judges will not allow this…why not? It is a criminal charge and would result in the judge having to impose either a fine or jail time for the HAP parent… and they don't want either to happen to a “precious mother”.

    I say if you are going to deny access you deserve to not get child support, you deserve to spend time in jail and you deserve to lose custody of your child. ALL OF THE ABOVE. There should be no leniency on this!!!

    And its about time judges started dealing with HAP parents..not just letting them get away with it.

    It is child abuse, it is bullying.

  10. Anonymous says:

    When there is a documented history of Domestic Violence; a substantiated risk of harm by the state and a Judge determining that the there was an “unacceptable risk of harm to the children”
    Father takes it back to court before another Judge and this Judges decides to hear the case all over again and decides (discretion)that he will not accept the evidence of DV, Child abuse ( including medical evidence) and reverses residency to the Father. The Father remarries and these children are living in a DV situation with the current wife and the Father has continued on with his abuse of the children and is clearly a Hostile Aggressive Parent… He has ceased all contact between the children and myself and continues to make dis-ingenuousness offers using this as incentives and punishment of /to the children. These children have run away and have clearly stated that they do not want to live with him and his current wife. He does not follow court orders, directions of the court, or consent orders , he tapes and records all calls ( when he allowed calls) And ironically the court have deemed me to the be the alienating parent… (PAS) I have seen my children in the last 4 years for 60 days 28 hours… go figure…I see my children running away again and this time they will end up living on the streets…because they know that they can't come home to me as their father will have them dragged kicking and fighting back to him and if it means that he has to confine them he will… by any means at his disposal… it is all so sad…. Not all women have PA & PAS it is in most cases because Domestic Violence not being understood or acknowledged…

  11. Anonymous says:

    If anyone knows how I can get help to fight this please let me know. Here is my shortened story. As I lay here yet once again crying tears of sadness that I may never see my kids again. It hurts to know they have been told numerous lies about me that has forever shattered the bond that we once shared. This due to a horrid thing called Parental Alienation. I was part of my kids lives even after our divorce in 2004. My ex and I had a good friendship and at times were considering on getting back together. Our kids and I even went over to his moms for the Xmas holidays in 2007. My ex mother in-law still calls me her daughter-in-law and my ex was close with my mom and dad too. Our kids had to give up having a mother, step father, grandparents, aunts uncles cousins and friends due to her!!! After 15 yrs you just don't quit being part of the family UNLESS>>>UNTIL… the green eyed monster or as I like to call her the Wicked Witch of the South came along in 2008. From the time she heard my ex talking nice to me until now she has and still is keeping my kids from having anything to do with me whatsoever. I have tried and due to their lies false allegations turned my Liberal Visitation into Nonexistent. So now I am a mother to a wonderful boy that had the luck of getting out from under their evil ways and he lives with me. This was because my ex was not the bio-father and after raising him as his own knowingly after 6yrs and marrying the WWotS she made him give him up. Not to me but to my parents because she did not want him to even have anything to do with me for that. My oldest has joined the National Guard in order to get away and start his own life. He still is so far gone brainwashed wise that he hasn't came around yet. My fear is that my daughter whom still lives under that roof will either be hurt physically or so far gone mentally that she will never recover. We had a close mother daughter relationship and that was ruined to where the last time I spoke with her it sounded just as if I were talking to the stepmother but with my daughter's voice. Social Services does nothing because their have been no physical bruises. LOL! What about all the mental bruises. I have pictures of the three of my kids and how close we all were even after the divorce but yet since lies were told in court nothing was done. Another corrupt court system I guess. When you take a brainwashed nine year old's word for it that they do want to see you at the father's hearsay, the judge should have had his licensed barred. So now since I cannot call, cannot write, cannot do anything but sit here with tears pouring out, I pray that God will find a way to bring my kids back to rebuild our broken bond so they never have to go to councilors again, since that is what my ex and his wife have doomed them to a life of. I do not even know what my beautiful girl looks like. I can only imagine how she is turning of age and becoming a young girl. GOD! Help her find her way home!

  12. Anonymous says:

    This has been happening to my relationship with my daughter for years.It has just manifested into her refusing all contact with me. I never thought that was possible because we have never really had any argument – only ever great times. This is very real and I am struggling to know which way to turn.I am in Sydney -My daughter in Melbourne. Its sort of a dead end street when the child says they dont want contact.You want to scream but you have to feel your way inch by inch trying to convince people about this HAP. Its nothing less than torture.

  13. JPA says:

    My fiance is currently going through this. Thank you for raising awareness. It's truly gut wrenching to watch such an amazing person, his family and his son (whom I've never met) be treated this way.

  14. ica iova says:

    It is astounding how the signs and symptoms through which the HAP can be identified by people who surround him/her, can be easily mistaken for a caring parent who, is simply seeking to take control of the daily structure of the child’s life, because he/she had “proven” the other parent unfit. The HAP, is easily able to manipulate professionals who are highly qualified and trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of a HAP. Some of those professionals are helping the HAP in his/her vengeful crusade, without even realising it. It is eminent for everyone to know and recognize the signs and symptoms of a HAP, as well as the red flagging behaviour of a child raised by a HAP, so an intervention can be done, before the child’s psychological well being is completely shattered.I am publishing a book called “My children, His victims- A mother's quest”, on this very subject. I would like to hear from anyone about personal experiences with a HAP. You can reach me at

  15. Anonymous says:

    HAP is a serious issue, but getting awareness in the courts seems to be near impossible (at least in Georgia). The most common lecture I get from lawyers is that I need to think of my post divorce proceedings and my interactions with my ex as a business transaction. Common sense already tells me to document the communication with my ex and not get caught in the web of destructive communication, but on the flip side, my kids are not a transaction. I'm a very dedicated father of 2 girls that live in Ga. I live in Fl and do everything possible to keep active in their lives each day. However, my ex demonstrates a HAP style in many ways. This becomes extra frustrating for me because I'm also in a long term relationship with a great woman that also has 2 kids. We work together with her ex to provide the most healthy environment possible for her kids. I'm frustrated because we have to watch the HAP take place with my ex who wants nothing to do with effective co-parenting (for the sake of the kids). Most days it takes several attempts for me to reach the kids when I call. Sometimes (depending on her mood), I don't get through at all. My kids have been afraid to communicate basic information to me such as when they moved I was informed a week later. They are even afraid to tell me their address or school information for fear of upsetting their mother. As a loving dad, I hope Georgia gets with the program and begins to take HAP seriously. If anyone knows of any decent lawyers in Ga, please advise. Thanks for listening.

  16. m says:
    Please read this woman’s story. I am going through the exact same type of situation.
    She is American but this is happening in Canada also . I need help with getting my story out in the hopes that my child can be helped. .This extreme hostile aggressive parenting has been going on for ten years now! My child is worn out and sick .I am very physically sick from it . The worst part of my story is my ex is a well known about the city we live in .He is a bar musician who is an alcoholic,drug user, womanizer, and I cannot get one person to out him ! He is not a respected person such as a cop which makes this even worse in the corruption dept! If anyone has any skills in making a website or any suggestions on how to fight back it would be appreciated.
    Suffering in Winnipeg

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