Even as early as 12 months of age, a child can be observed by researchers to have a “secure attachment” with his or her parent(s) or an “insecure attachment.”

There have been some studies which suggest that this can be a contributing “risk factor” for developing a personality disorder  including the behavior we see in child alienation cases.

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There are many important lessons a child must learn in their early childhood attachment relationship(s) that a child is not born knowing (many people don’t realize this):

  • A sense of security that her/his basic needs will be met
  • Confidence that problems can be solved one way or another
  • Awareness of what s/he is feeling inside
  • Awareness of other people’s feelings
  • Learning to “read” other people’s moods Learning to “read” other people’s intentions
  • Learning that s/he can manage her/his own emotions
  • Learning that s/he can manage her/his own behavior
  • Learning that s/he can be flexible in new situations
  • Learning that s/he and others can be different and still be okay
  • Learning that s/he can influence others and be influenced by others
  • Learning that s/he can reflect on her thoughts, feelings, behavior
  • Learning that s/he can change her thoughts, feelings, behavior
  • Learning that people have a combination of good and bad qualities

Excerpt from Don’t Alienate the Kids! Raising Resilient Children While Avoiding High-Conflict Divorce. By Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq. Published by HCI Press www.hcipress.com


About Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq

Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, mediator and the President of High Conflict Institute. He developed the "High Conflict Personality" theory (HCP Theory) and has become an international expert on managing disputes involving high conflict personalities and personality disorders. He provides training on this subject to lawyers, judges, mediators, managers, human resource professionals, businesspersons, healthcare administrators, college administrators, homeowners’ association managers, ombudspersons, law enforcement, therapists and others. He has been a speaker and trainer in over 25 states, several provinces in Canada, Australia, France and Sweden.

As an attorney, Bill is a Certified Family Law Specialist in California and the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego. Prior to becoming an attorney in 1992, he was a Licensed Clinical Social worker with twelve years’ experience providing therapy to children, adults, couples and families in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics. He has taught Negotiation and Mediation at the University of San Diego School of Law for six years and he is on the part-time faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law and the National Judicial College.

He is the author of numerous articles and several books.

Areas of Expertise: Mediation, Family Law, Workplace, Judicial Officers, Court Systems, Governmental Entities, Mental Health Professionals, New Ways for Families.


To view his book, “BIFF: Quick Responses to High-Conflict People,” visit this link:

To view his book, “Don’t Alienate the Kids!” Visit this site: