Associated Clinical Sign 4: Parental Replacement
If a child starts calling a parent by the parent’s first name, this is a symptom of the absence of empathy for the child by the allied parent regarding the important role and person the mother or father is to a child.
Moms are always “mom” and dads are always “dad” because that’s how the child sees the world. To call the parent by their first name is to kill the parent for the child.
Empathy for the child does not do that. Spousal anger does that for revenge.
The symptom of ACS-4 is nearly (is) 100% diagnostic for the pathology – it never occurs anywhere… except here in the family courts.
It’s having the child kill their own parent. It’s a symptom of cruelty, an absence of empathy and understanding for the child – moms are always “mom” – dads are always “dad.” The child only has one of each.
Another variant of ACS-4 Parental Replacement that occasionally displays is when the child begins to call the new step-parent of the narcissistic parent “mom” or “dad.” This is the replacement proper – because people are expendable.
ACS 4: Parental Replacement is not always present, but when it is, it is nearly (is) 100% diagnostic of the pathology. One parent, the allied parent, is having the child kill the other parent – the cruelty and absence of empathy for the child is phenomenal.
Child abuse is the failure of empathy, and the failure of parental empathy IS child abuse – they are flip sides of the same coin.
From Moor & Silvern: “The act of child abuse by parents is viewed in itself as an outgrowth of parental failure of empathy and a narcissistic stance towards one’s own children. Deficiency of empathic responsiveness prevents such self-centered parents from comprehending the impact of their acts, and in combination with their fragility and need for self-stabilization, predisposes them to exploit children in this way.” (Moor & Silvern, 2006, p. 95)
From Moor & Silvern:“Only insofar as parents fail in their capacity for empathic attunement and responsiveness can they objectify their children, consider them narcissistic extensions of themselves, and abuse them. It is the parents’ view of their children as vehicles for satisfaction of their own needs, accompanied by the simultaneous disregard for those of the child, that make the victimization possible.” (Moor & Silvern, 2006, p. 104)
Moor, A. and Silvern, L. (2006). Identifying pathways linking child abuse to psychological outcome: The mediating role of perceived parental failure of empathy. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 6, 91-112.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, CA PSY 18857