The Warning Signs of Parental Alienation Syndrome

Divorced parents may worry that their former spouses speak badly about them to their children, but when do a few negative comments cross the line and become psychologically damaging to a child and destroy the parent-child relationship?

Parental Alienation Syndrome, or PAS, occurs when a parent actively tries to distort a child’s perception of the other parent so that they will withdraw and avoid them. The long-lasting effects of such alienation can hurt both the child and the parent. Psychologists recommend that parents be on the lookout for the following warning signs that may indicate that one parent is attempting to alienate the child:

  • Providing too much information about the marriage or reasons for divorce
  • Assigning blame to the other parent for financial trouble or for splitting apart the family
  • Pretending the child has a choice about visitation even though it has already been determined by the court
  • Asking the child to spy on the other parent
  • Wanting to change a child’s name or have a stepparent adopt
  • Acting hurt of jealous when child enjoys their relationship with other parent
  • Encouraging the child to remain angry at the other parent
  • Arranging special words or symbols intended to exclude the other parent

Children who appear angry with a parent without a clear reason, or express that they have no happy memories of that parent, may have fallen victim to an attempt to alienate them from the parent in question. Why there are many reasons why a parent would attempt this behavior, it is often indicative of anger or other unresolved personal issues. But whatever the reason, the impact on the relationship can be difficult to overcome.

To receive the legal guidance you need on various family law issues, contact the experienced Long Island child custody lawyers at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.  

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