“Encouraging a child to betray one of the most important members of his family be it the father or the mother produces within that child a tendency towards psychopathic behaviour. Once the alienating parent has denigrated the other parent to the child, the child due to the pressure upon him and the “power” wielded by the alienator needs to carry on the process of denigration.
Children who suffer from the PAS syndrome develop a concept that one parent is the loving parent and hence to be loved back while the other is the hated parent who has done evil or wickedness, etc., not only towards the alienating parent but towards the child. This has been consciously as well as unconsciously indoctrinated in to the child. This has also resulted in fear as well as hatred for the alienated parent. Virtually all indoctrination of a negative type is carried out by the mother who usually retains the child in residence. Occasionally it is the father or one of the relations to the child who may have taken over the role of parenting.
Gardner (1998) considers that there are eight cardinal symptoms of PAS in it’s effect on the child:
1. The campaign of denigration.
2. Weak, frivolous and absurd rationalisations for the denigration.
3. Lack of ambivalence.
4. The “independent thinker phenomenon.”
5. Reflexive support of the alienating parent in the parental conflict.
6. Actions of guilt over cruelty to and/or exploitation of the alienated parent.
7. The presence of borrowed scenarios.
8. The spread of animosity to the extended family and alienated parent.
The result of alienation as I have found it is that the child develops a hatred for the other person that is the non-resident other parent and seeks to denigrate and vilify that parent much as has been done by the alienating parent. The destruction of one parent can have serious consequences not only immediately but in the long term. One might say the child has been robbed of the possibility of having a supportive and caring parent. Very often that parent is a father who has become a poisonous object. All memories of a good relationship have been destroyed.”
Part of a great article found here:
It is interesting to me how much lying goes on in these cases. First you have the lies told to the child by the offending parent or step parent, supported by a bunch of mindless sheep who sell the same lies even though they often know them to be lies or have no knowledge whatsoever about what they are speaking. Interesting that were these people to speak to anyone sane they would tell them that what they are doing is wrong and sick. Secondly you have the lies told to the courts as to why visitations have been stopped.
It is often told that the offending parent is the only one who has raised the child (again they are all good, the alienated parent is all bad) and often they have ceased visitations from the other parent for years. Then they stand up and claim the child is so traumatized by the other parent and the damage is horrific. Thousands of children go through divorces every year. Many manage to still have 2 loving parents involved in their lives. Unless there is some evidence of child abuse during the marriage, or that was mentioned and proven during the divorce, the trauma of divorce, while unpleasant, is manageable, when two parents work together for the best interest of the child. When they don’t, and Parental Alienation Syndrome is applied, read the list of symptoms a child abused with that can experience: (from the article above)
Parental Alienation – Dr. L.F. Lowenstein – Southern England Psychological Services
“Specific Problems of Children suffering from the Effects of PAS
Now follows a series of symptoms found in children, when they are presented over a period of time, with brain washing or programming against another parent. The effects are both short and long term. It must be stated from the beginning that not all the symptoms about to be mentioned occur in all children who are involved in the parental alienation syndrome scenario. There will also be some difference between the very young child and the older child who have more experience of the PAS process. Not all the symptoms mentioned occur in all children. However some symptoms undoubtedly will occur and effect the child unless some form of treatment is carried out which eliminates the impact of the alienating process:
1. Anger is a common reaction of many children to the process of alienation. The anger however will be expressed towards the target parent as one sides with one of the parents in the relationship against the other. The fact the children are forced into this kind of situation causes considerable distress and frustration and the response often is to show aggressive behaviour towards the targeted parent in order to accommodate the programmer.
2. Loss or a lack of impulse control in conduct. Children who suffer from PAS are not merely suffering from aggression but also often turn to delinquent behaviour. There is considerable evidence that fathers and their presence and influence can do much to prevent and alleviate the possibility of delinquency most especially in boys.
3. Loss of self confidence and self esteem. Losing one of the parents through the programming procedure can produce a lack of self confidence and self esteem. In the case of boys identification with a male figure has been curtailed, especially if the alienated parent is the father.
4. Clinging and separation anxiety. Children especially very young children who have been programmed to hate or disdain one of the parents will tend to cling to that parent who has carried out the programming. There is considerable anxiety induced by the programming parent against the target parent including threats that such a parent would carry out a great number of different negative actions against the child as well as the programming parent.
5. Developing fears and phobias. Many children fear being abandoned or rejected now that they have been induced to feel that one of the partners in a relationship usually the father is less than desirable. Sometimes this results in school phobia that is fear of attending school mainly due to fear of leaving the parent who claims to be the sole beneficial partner in the formal relationship. Some children suffer from hyperchondriacal disorders and tend to develop psychological symptoms and physical illnesses. Such children also fear what will happen in the future and most especially there is a fear that the programming parent or only parent who is allegedly the “good parent” may die and leave the child bereft of any support.
6. Depression and suicidal ideation. Some children who are so unhappy at the tragic break up of the relationship are further faced with animosity between the programming parent and the targeted parent. This leads to ambivalence and uncertainty and sometimes suicidal attempts occur due to the unhappiness which the child feels brought about by the two main adults in his or her life.
7. Sleep disorders is another symptom which follows the parental alienation situation. Children frequently dream and often find it difficult to sleep due to their worries about the danger of the alienated parent and the guilt they may feel as a result of participating in the process of alienation.
8. Eating disorders. A variety of eating disorders have been noted in children who are surrounded by parental alienation. This includes anorexia nervosa, obesity and bulimia.
9. Educational problems. Children who are surrounded by the pressure of having to reject one parent having been less brain washed frequently suffer from school dysfunctions. They may become disruptive as well as aggressive within that system.
10. Enuresis and Encopresis. A number of very young children due to the pressure and frustrations around them suffer from bed wetting and soiling. This is a response to the psychological disturbance of losing one parent and finding one parent inimical to the rejected parent.
11. Drug abuse and self destructive behaviour frequently are present in children who have suffered from parental alienation. This tendency is due to a need to escape one’s feelings of the abuse they have suffered through the experience and the desire to escape from it. In the extreme such self destructive behaviour can lead to suicidal tendencies.
12. Obsessive compulsive behaviour. This psychological reaction is frequently present in PAS children. Such children will seek to find security in their environment by adopting a variety of obsessive compulsive behaviour patterns.
13. Anxiety and panic attacks are also frequently present in children who have been involved in PAS processes. This may be reflected through psycho-somatic disorders such as nightmares.
14. Damaged sexual identity problems. As a result of the PAS syndrome children often develop identity problems especially as they may have failed to identify with one member of the originally secure relationship.
15. Poor peer relationships may follow the PAS situation due to the fact that such children often are either very withdrawn in their behaviour or are aggressive.
16. Excessive feelings of guilt. This may be due to the knowledge deep down that the ostracised parent who has been vilified has done nothing wrong to deserve the kind of treatment received by the child or children. When this view occurs the child especially when older begins to suffer from guilt feelings.
Children who are exposed to PAS suffer in a variety of general as well as specific ways from this experience. It will often have both temporary and lasting effects on their lives. This is obviously not the intention of the alienator but it is the result of such alienation procedures and programming which causes the child to show a negative attitude and behaviour towards one of the parents. To deal with this problem a variety of therapeutic techniques are required and these will be covered in another article. . . . ”
Ok so here is another shot of common sense. If you are claiming to have done all the good child rearing and years have passed with no contact from the alienated parent – who do you think is really responsible for any trauma the child is suffering?
You see most parents, if a child ever says they hate their other parent, even when you hate that parent beyond belief, reassure the child that they don’t. They tell them how much they know mommy or daddy loves the child. They build up the child and their world and make sure they never make the child feel like they have to choose between two people. They never involve them in adult matters or show them things that will hurt them. It is called being an adult. Being a good parent.