What is Parental Alienation Syndrome

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a behavioral pattern that is seen in many children who come from a broken home. This makes them more susceptible to certain types of negative behavior that they pick up from their parents. Children can be very impressionable. The bias, hate or the abusive words that a child uses towards one of the parents due to certain behavioral teachings or impressions that the other parent creates in the child’s mind is called Parental Alienation Syndrome.
This is very common among children whose parents have developed deep animosity towards each other or among those kids who have been brought up by a single parent. This behavior develops either unconsciously or deliberately, causing them to hate the other parent. It is is a common problem that can be observed in studies in the United States. The prevalence of this syndrome has been studied or observed since the 1940?s. PAS often occurs when one parent has custody of the child after a separation or divorce.
Children display a lack of concern and they abuse, insult and denigrate one parent. This can be regarded as a kind of brainwashing infused by the father or mother in a spoken or unspoken way, casting the other parent as an enemy of the child. It is also a form of abuse that can be the result of a deliberate procedure by the alienating parent. These feelings arise when the child lives with the alienating parent.

Characteristics of Parental Alienation Syndrome

The behavioral patterns seen in the child may include:

  • Extreme ill-will towards the targeted parent’s family and friends.
  • There are no feelings of guilt.
  • A feeling that this behavior is a voluntary decision.
  • Abuse of the separated parent by the child.
  • Unconditional support for the child from the alienating parent.
  • Maintaining a state of permanent discord against the target parent.
  • No good reasons can be provided, when the child is asked to explain the bitterness towards the targeted parent.

Involving one’s child in a war against the other parent leads to great stress. Whatever dispute that the parents have between themselves should stay between them. They are not supposed to involve their child, because for an innocent child both parents play a vital role in development. The child needs love, protection and affection from both parents equally. It is important not to develop these biased feelings in your children.

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