In an ideal world, parents would be able to work together after divorce to raise their children and support each other’s relationship. Sadly, sometimes divorce can bring out the worst in parents causing them to make bad choices when it comes to what they say to and around their kids. Over time, a parent’s comments can cause their children to become emotionally distant from or even refuse to see the other parent. When one parent tries to turn a child against the other parent, it can be devastating to the parent-child relationship. However, there are steps you can take to protect your child and your relationship with them.
The term “Parental Alienation Syndrome” or PAS, coined by child psychiatrist Dr. Richard A. Gardner, is essentially when one parent makes outrageous and concerted attempts to turn their child against the other parent. The alienating parent usually engages in behavior such as making demeaning comments about the other parent around the child, making false accusations, interfering with time-sharing, and disrupting visits. This destructive conduct is traumatic to the child as they are not in a position to stop their parent. Ultimately, the child may feel they have to show complete allegiance to the alienating parent or risk losing their love. The result could be to harm the child irreparably and to destroy their relationship and bond with the other parent.
Take Action Now
Parental alienation is often something which starts small and then gains momentum over time. It could begin with a parent’s occasional derogatory comment and then progress to a pattern of routine negative behavior. The parent could even go so far as to ask the child which parent they love more or condition their affection on the child refusing to see the other parent. Listen to your kids and allow them to tell you in their own words what has been going on. If you believe the other parent is making inappropriate and alienating comments the time to act is now. Contact an experienced family law attorney right away to discuss what is happening and go over your options.
Parental alienation is serious and can be extremely harmful to your children and your bond with them. The attorneys of the Draper, Firm have experience with parental alienation and can help you protect your children and your relationship with them. If you believe your ex is alienating your children from you, please contact us right away to schedule a free consultation. We invite you to learn more about our firm here.