Parental Alienation Syndrome “PAS”

Posted: April 11, 2009 in Uncategorized

PAS occurs in high conflict cases where the children are very involved in the personal conflict between the parents. Unable to manage the situation so as to preserve an affectionate relationship with both parents, the child takes the side of one parent against the other and participates in the battle as an ally of the alienating parent who is defined as good against the other parent who is viewed as despicable.  It has been found that continued hostility and protracted litigation between the parents contributes to the development of PAS in older children.  In other words, where the system, namely the Court, is unable to settle and contain parental divorce conflicts, the children may be at  an increasing risk for developing PAS as they get older.

I have seen several cases in the office where PAS has occurred, both alienation of the mother and of the father.  It is devastating to the parent who has been alienated from their child’s life.  When children are involved in their parent’s conflict over a continued period of time, it wreaks havoc on the parent/child relationship.  If the other parent constantly belittles the alienated parent and involves the child in this action, the child takes on the parent’s hatred of the other parent.

In the cases I have been involved in, the children were teenagers or pre-teens.  Their statements made to the alienated parents were filled with hate and anger.  These children spoke of things that children should never be involved in when their parents are divorcing, or are no longer living together if they were never married.  Children should not know the private and intimate details of their parent’s lives. They are not mature enough to understand and form their own opinions.  They will eventually believe the parent who continues to fill their head with anger towards the other parent.  They will grow up to have no relationships or damaged relationships of their own and probably continue to do the same to their own children, continuing the cycle all over again.  PAS is another form of abuse, it may not leave bruises or broken bones, but it leaves marks on children for the rest of their lives.

Children should be given the love of both parents at all times.  Neither parent should ever involve the children in the parental conflicts.  Yes, it can be difficult to do.  But if you don’t want the Court to intervene on behalf of the children’s best interests, you, as parents must do everything in your power to ensure that your children are given every opportunity to grow up happy and with the ability to have a good relationship with both parents.  After all, your children are part of both parents and trust me, they will be happier adults if you can work with the other parent rather than work against them.

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