Divorce is one of life's most painful passages. It is painful for the spouse who wants it, painful for the spouse who feels rejected, and painful for the children. We can understand and empathize with the spouse who feels wronged and wants revenge, or the spouse who is overwhelmed with anxiety at the thought of losing the children, or the spouse who prefers to forget that the marriage ever was. But using the children to get revenge, to cope with anxiety, to erase the past, is unacceptable. Parents must hold themselves to a higher standard. Parent-child relationships are particularly vulnerable when children are first informed of the impending separation, or when one parent actually leaves the home. If your spouse manipulates the children to blame you for the divorce, or to believe you have abandoned them, affection can dissolve overnight as their distress and hurt feelings are channeled into hatred. The risk becomes multiplied if, for any reason, you have no communication or contact with the children after you leave the home. This keeps you from reassuring the children of your love and helping them understand that they do not have to choose between their parents.
A child who feels caught between two homes may feel that the solution to the conflict is to declare a clear allegiance to one household. This motive can result in alienation from either parent. A child who is anxious or angry about the remarriage may channel these feelings into unwarranted hatred of the remarried parent and stepparent. Or the child's alienation may express the disappointment of reconciliation wishes that have been dashed by the remarriage. Regardless of the child's underlying motivation, if the favored parent welcomes the child's allegiance and fails to actively promote the child's affection for the other
parent, the child may cling to a maladaptive solution. Excepted from: Dr. Richard A. Warshak. Divorce Poison, Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex, Regan Books, New York
The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child's campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent's indoctrinations and the child's own contributions to the vilification of the target parent. Excerpted from: Gardner, R.A. (1998). The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition, Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.
PAS is more than brainwashing or programming, because the child has to actually participate in the denigrating of the alienated parent. This is done in primarily the following eight ways:
James Piedimonte has been involved with many divorce and custody cases concerned with Parental Alienation. He has witnessed the damage to the children and the pain it has caused parents. It is important to attack the problem quickly and with professionals. If parental alienation continues too long, the damage could be irreparable and completely destroy the parent-child relationship.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia it defines Parental Alienation as any behaviour by a parent, a child's mother or father, whether conscious or unconscious, that could create alienation in the relationship between a child and the other parent. Parental alienation can be mild and temporary or extreme and ongoing. Most researchers believe that any alienation of a child against (the child's) other parent is harmful to the child and to the target parent. Extreme, obsessive, and ongoing parental alienation can cause terrible psychological damage to children extending well into adulthood. Parental Alienation focuses on the alienating parents behavior as opposed to the alienated parent's and alienated children's conditions. This definition is different from Parental Alienation Syndrome as originally coined by Dr. Richard Gardner in 1987: "a disturbance in which children are preoccupied with deprecation and criticism of a parent-denigration that is unjustified and/or exaggerated." Parental Alienation Syndrome symptoms describe the child's behaviours and attitude towards the targeted parent after the child has been effectively programmed and severely alienated from the targeted parent. Parental alienation, on the other hand, describes the alienating parent's or parents' conduct which induces parental alienation syndrome in children. Parental alienation is a form of relational aggression by one parent against the other parent using their common children. The process can become cyclic with each parent attempting to alienate the children from the other. There is potential for a negative feedback loop and escalation. At other times an affected parent may withdraw leaving the children to the alienating parent. Children so alienated often suffer effects similar to those studied in the psychology of torture. (Sources: External link articles below and late adulthood consciousness of parental alienation) Alienating parents often use grandparents, aunts/uncles, and other elders to alienate their children against the target parent. In some cases, mental health professionals become unwitting allies in these alienation attempts by backing unfounded allegations of neglect, abuse or mental disease. Courts also often side with the alienating parent against the target parent in legal judgements because parental alienation is so difficult to detect. Extreme forms of parental alienation include obsessive brainwashing, character assassination, and the false inducement of fear, shame, and rage in children against the target parent. Moderate forms of parental alienation include loss of self control, flare ups of anger, and unconscious alliances with the children against the target parent. In its mildest forms, parental alienation includes occasional mild denigration alternating with a focus on encouraging the children's relationship with the other parent.
Parental alienation often forces children to choose sides and become allies against the other parent. Children caught in the middle of such conflicts suffer severe losses of love, respect and peace during their formative years. They also often lose their alienated parent forever. These consequences and a host of others cause terrible traumas to children as studied in Parental Alienation Syndrome. Parents so alienated often suffer heartbreaking loss of their children through no fault of their own. In addition, they often face false accusations from their alienated children that they cannot counter with the facts. Finally, they often find themselves powerless to show that this little-known form of cruel, covert, and cunning aggression is occurring or has occurred.
Often the problem can be cured only by realizing the underlying causes. The reasons are very numerous and varied. These are examples: Parental Alienation Syndrome by Lynn M.Swank