For a child, parental divorce is usually a very traumatic case. The family, which the child considers the cornerstone of all life, collapses. And a child can’t do anything like this. In this case, the child is sure to feel sadness, insecurity and being vulnerable. Unfortunately, some parents take advantage of this situation and hurt their ex-spouse. This can lead to what is known as “parental alienation syndrome”.
It seems incomprehensible that parents can act so selfishly. Unfortunately, anger and resentment towards an ex-spouse are sometimes more intense than feelings of love for children. Many parents are not even aware of the harm they cause to their children. For them, their own suffering is more important than the suffering of their children.
The mother tells her children that their father does not want to see them, or vice versa. The parent or parents lie to the children, trying to make them lose respect for the other parent. The psychological consequences for a child can be really problematic. It can cause pathological anger towards another parent who is now a victim of alienation from the parent.
What does parental alienation syndrome mean?
Parental alienation syndrome is a form of child psychological abuse. It is the manipulation of a child’s sensitive mind, with the intention of changing the view of the other parent.
Such assault can come from either one or both parents. The alienating parent will not think twice until he barks at the child if the child expresses tender feelings for the other parent. Many parents even use the family environment to reinforce this contempt. Relatives and friends may also be involved in such psychological abuse.
Parents may also explain the reasons for the divorce in detail, and make themselves look like victims. The purpose is to make the child feel sorry for the other parent, and blame the other. This is really about revenge. The tragedy, however, is that the child suffers the most from this. Children are always real victims, as they should never have to experience such toxic treatment.
What can lead a parent to act this way?
In the event of divorce, it would be appropriate to distinguish between two important concepts. A “bad” partner does not mean a “bad” parent. However, this idea does not apply in situations of domestic violence. It is quite logical to think that the beating of an ex-spouse can create a fear that history will repeat itself in children.
In other situations, preventing the other parent from seeing their own children is quite certainly a sign that the difference is not going well. Selfishness and low self-esteem may highlight the disadvantages of parents.
A parent who is estranged from their child may suffer from a certain type of personality disorder. The most common of these situations are narcissism and an unstable personality.
What can you do if you are a witness or victim of such behavior?
If a person is found guilty of such child abuse in court, it can affect the child’s custody. Before a parent is threatened with child protection services, it is important to try to talk to the parents. Parents should be made to see that such behavior is not appropriate at all. They need to understand that the child suffers the most from this.
However, if the manipulative attitude continues, it is up to the judge how to proceed. A child may refuse to live with another parent because of the anger that the other parent has instilled in the child. Parental alienation syndrome is a really complex problem that usually requires some form of psychological treatment.
Parental alienation syndrome is usually quite exhausting for a child. Anxiety and fear can affect relationships and stifle a child’s emotional development.
Becoming ridiculed for expressing positive feelings towards the other parent affects the child’s self-esteem. Many children carry these traumas with them into adulthood, creating unmatched gaps between them and at least one, usually both, parents.
Parental alienation syndrome is something that should not be taken lightly. Divorce should not become a psychological battle between two people who at some point in their lives made a joint decision to marry. And, in particular, this struggle should not drag children with them and should not cause them further harm.