Surely, one of the best things in life is to be able to tell your child that you love them … to let them know that you care and that you will always be there to protect them.
Then something awful happens and you split from your wife or husband and one way or the other you move into another life … a life that is alien to you. You become the absent parent.
And at first you have heartbreak … heartbreak for the whole family. But your own heartbreak is all the greater because you are the parent who can no longer kiss your son or your daughter good night every night as they go to bed and to their own land of young dreams.
But you also know that your child is suffering because they miss you – a massive part of their life is basically standing at the window looking in, waving and then walking away. Secretly all your child sees is you walking away.
So, you know it is your job to re-assure them, make them feel safe, cared for, wanted, loved even though now you live across town or in a different part of the world.
But you can re-assure them and tell them how much they are loved by telephone, by letter, on your access days or simply by a gesture or a look.
Then something happens … something beyond comprehension.
You are advised by the people who are supposedly there to help heal rifts between families, to protect the sanctity of parental love, that you must no longer tell your child you love them …
Yes, here at the consumerwatchfoundation.com we are hearing real-life horror stories of estranged parents who are being told that displays of affection are putting your child in danger of emotional damage.
Tell us at the consumerwatchfoundation.com if this has happened to you – when we have enough we will approach Cafcass and other organisations and face them with the facts.
We will publish their response.