Common Signs of Parental Alienation Syndrome

Common Signs of Parental Alienation Syndrome

Posted By R. Gregory Colvin LLC || 13-Apr-2016

It is not uncommon for children to feel as if they are choosing sides when their parents go through a divorce. This is especially true if the divorce involves heated arguments and the child is a young teenager in their formative years. When the stress of the experience becomes too great, a child may develop parental alienation syndrome (PAS) and begin to willfully or subconsciously push one parent away while supporting or clinging to the other. Once PAS begins, it can be difficult to address or reverse without the help of a professional.

Signs of PAS your child could demonstrate that you should keep an eye and ear out for include:

  1. Blame: In many divorces, there truly is no one to blame – both parents fall out of love and decide to end the relationship. A child exhibiting signs of PAS will outwardly blame one parent for the divorce without evidence for doing so, and will likely praise the other.
  2. Silence: If you are feeling as if you are getting “the silent treatment” from your child after your divorce, it could indicate that they are mentally and physically pushing you away. Children who were once active and talkative may now refrain from speaking often until spoken to.
  3. Refusal: Insubordination and a general lack of empathy for your difficulties – such as refusing to complete their chores or help with daily tasks – can be a clear symptom of parental alienation.
  4. Outcast: Most cases of PAS involve a parent and the entire family of that parent as being shunned or seen as outcasts by the child. Ask your immediate family members if they have also been treated differently by your child since your divorce.

Addressing the Signs of PAS

You may wish to speak with a family or child psychologist or psychiatrist about what can be done when your child intentionally tries to harm your relationship with them due to parental alienation syndrome. Counseling sessions and trust exercises can be beneficial in some cases. In others, the problem is more complex, and actually stems from your ex-spouse.

If you discover that your ex has been encouraging or enabling your child’s PAS, legal action may be necessary to correct it. Ways exes may interfere with you and your child’s relationship may include talking poorly about you when you are not around, intentionally violating child custody agreements, or emotionally toying with them. At R. Gregory Colvin, LLC, our Orlando divorce lawyer can find a way to address your ex-spouse’s actions, either by arguing that they are acting in contempt of court orders or by moving for the strict enforcement of all your parenting plans.

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