Parental alienation Syndrome or PAS is a condition in which a child develops severe animosity towards one specific parent. The child begins to be rude, disobedient and angry with regard to either the father or the mother.
PAS is most commonly seen in children of divorced parents. The parent, with whom the child stays, begins to plant ideas against his/her ex-spouse in the child’s mind. This situation usually arises when there has been a long, drawn out child custody battle in court.
The child is brainwashed into hating the parent and is usually incapable of forming his/her own opinion. This is not a medical problem but a sad and pathetic situation where a helpless and innocent child is used as a tool to cause hurt and pain by one parent (the alienator) to the other (the alienated).
When a child becomes a victim of such a situation, there are very few ways to come back to normal. The suffering parent can request the court or a child welfare official to intervene or request special psychiatric therapy sessions for the parents and child together.
Let us now see a few signs and symptoms of Parental Alienation Syndrome.
Signs Of Parental Alienation Syndrome
Dependence on One Parent
Such children usually do not have independent opinions and thoughts. They believe and follow whatever one parent says against the other.
Placing fault and Blame on the Victimized Parent
The child starts believing that the victimized parent is the root cause of all problems. Anything that has gone wrong in the child’s life is blamed on this parent.
Rude and Angry
The kid becomes extremely rude, angry and hostile towards one parent without any reason. He/she imitates the behavior of the parent that he/she likes.
Adoration Towards the Alienator
A PAS-affected child begins to almost worship the alienator. He/she sees this parent as the only person who loves and cares for him/her. He/she is scared of being in the bad books of the alienator.
Negative thoughts Towards the Alienated
The child becomes paranoid and scared of the alienated parent. This is because he/she believes this parent to be evil and untrustworthy.
Such children are forced to lie because of their mental state. They make untrue statements just to cause pain and suffering to the alienated parent.
Cutting ties from the rest of the family
The alienator ensures that the child starts hating not just the alienated parent but also rest of his/her family as well. They plant negative thoughts about the grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins to ensure that the child does not maintain any contact with them.
The alienating parent ensures that the child buries any happy memories that may exist regarding the other parent. The negative thoughts are reinforced to such an extent that the child does not even remember that the other parent also made him/her happy once upon a time.
Feelings of Guilt and Shame
Sadly, such children are made to feel guilty if they ever think well of the alienated parent. They are told that they are ungrateful and do not appreciate the parent who cares for them.
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