Parental Alienation Syndrome is a deliberate attempt by one parent to separate their children and the other parent. This is done to break the parental bond between the children and the other parent.
There are many reasons to try and alienate a child or parent. One reason is to punish the parent who did wrong. A personality disorder prevents the alienating parent from reacting rationally to stressful situations.
Parental Alienation is a common condition that develops over time. Some of the first signs include:
Propagating Anger Towards The Other Parent
One parent may criticize or speak negatively about the other parent directly to their child. Direct or indirect negative statements may be made about the other parent. One example is when the parent says, “We can’t pay for a new dress to wear at school because our father/mother spent the money on vacation with our new friend.”
Another direct comment is, “Your father/mother left because she/he didn’t care enough for you to make the marriage work.” This statement is intended to make the child angry towards the other parent. This is a way for the child to lash out at the parent who caused emotional pain.
Covert Attempts To Promote Anger
If the hearing range is within reach of the child/children, a parent may speak negatively about the other parent. Some parents will say nothing negative about their child’s parents. However, they don’t have a problem saying negative things about other people if their child/children are within earshot.
These people are viewed as “good people” and want to instil anger towards the other parent in their children. It is easy to claim they didn’t know the child was listening, but they don’t have responsibility for their actions. They are acting passively aggressive, which I prefer to believe.
Share grown-up details with your child.
The parent will inform the child about the details of the divorce proceedings and ongoing conflicts between the parents. They will discuss the financial difficulties caused by the divorce. Discuss ongoing legal issues with the child and pretend that their lives would be easier if dad or mom weren’t there.
This can cause anger in the child toward the parent and can cause them to feel responsible for the situation. They may also feel that they are being held accountable and take on more responsibility.
Sending negative messages to the child about the other parent
To express their disapproval of another parent, a parent may use body language. A child might see dad/mom squinting or glancing at the actions or words of another parent. This body language can send a negative message to the child without saying a word.
Children know that a roll in the eyes is dismissive. One was intended to convey that the other parent was stupid or wrong in some manner.
Refusing to co-parent Reasonably
Refusing to be with the other parent, or co-parenting with them, sends a negative message to the child. Children might be told by their father/mom that they are always angry and that the other parent doesn’t want them to be around their anger. Although the parent may not be angry, children can feel unfounded anger toward their parent.
Makin False Accusations Of Abuse
False accusations of abuse may be made against a parent by sexual, physical, or emotional allegations. These accusations could be harmful to the parent/child relationship if your children are too young to understand what happened. These accusations could also result in severe legal consequences.
If you suspect that your child has been abused, you should insist on a physical examination and a psychiatrist’s evaluation. If your child can speak for themselves and tells you they weren’t abused, then you have to assist them in holding the other parent accountable.
Children who are forced to deal with anger and conflict from their parents can suffer greatly. You can add to the stress of separation or divorce the feeling that the child should choose between the parents, which can lead to lasting damage.