What is Parental Alienation Syndrome and What Can You Do About it?

been divorced for a few years and something is happening that you can’t quite
explain. Your children are afraid to come over and are saying things that are
untrue.  Soon they begin to say cruel
things about you that are clearly coming from someone else and it is
tremendously hurtful.  It’s more than
likely that you and your children are victims of Parental Alienation Syndrome.

What is
Parental Alienation Syndrome? Certified Divorce Coach and Parental Alienation
Specialist Susan Shofer says that P.A.S was defined in 1985 by Dr. Richard
Gardner.  “Dr. Gardner concluded that
there are 8 clear symptoms that one can use to diagnose this very painful syndrome.

First let’s
take a look as Susan Shofer defines P.A.S. using Dr. Gardner’s 8 symptoms, then
she’ll discuss what can be done about it.

8 Symptoms of
Parental Alienation

Denigration – “This refers to a child who complains in a very consistent
way about a parent. Don’t get me wrong, all children complain about their
parents at one time or another, but when you can see the pattern and it becomes
extreme, then something else is at work.”

Frivolous Rationalization – “When a child is giving a complaint like, I
don’t want to go to dad’s, for example, we must ask the question why. If the
answer is not grounded in something real, then we can deduce that this might be
a symptom of P.A.S.”

Lack of Ambivalence – “This one is so interesting because it can be a very clear
indicator that something is wrong. Normally, people don’t look at those close
to them in black & white terms. When I hear that a child says one parent is
amazing and the other is horrible, my training and experience kicks in and
tells me that things are not as they seem.”

Independent Thinker Phenomenon – “When a child comes out by themselves without
being asked and says that the complaint is all them and they weren’t influenced
at all, guess what? These are not his or her words. It’s so complicated,
because the child truly believes that these thoughts are his or her own alone.
This is why I say that the child is a victim of P.A.S. too.”

Automatic Support/Reflexive Support – “If a child sides with one parent every time he
or she is in an argument with the other no matter the topic, this is a symptom
of P.A.S. It will stand out particularly when the child’s judgement comes
quickly and harshly.”

Absence of Guilt – “When a child is consistently cruel or disrespectful with no
regard for a parent’s feelings and no apology after things calm down, then it’s
clear P.A.S. is at work.”

Borrowed Scenarios – “To detect this symptom you must dig a little deeper into a
child’s story about his or her parent. If they tell a story and then later tell
the exact same story using not similar, butthe exact same language,
this could be a symptom of P.A.S.”

Spread of Animosity – “When a child’s hurtful feelings about and actions towards a
parent spread to aunts, uncles and grandparents there is clearly a problem.
Very often they have done nothing wrong other than perhaps defending the accused

Now that we
understand what Parental Alienation Syndrome is, what can we do about it?
Here’s where Divorce Coach and P.A.S. Specialist Susan Shofer says you can begin:

“First of all,
it’s important to understand that no two situations are the same and therefore,
unfortunately, there is no perfect plan that works for everyone. Now, having
said that, there are some things that everyone can do if they suspect they are
being alienated. Mindset is everything so get real about what you’re going
through. You are a victim, but you don’t need to act like one. Here are a few
ways you can be proactive.

  1. Keep records of every
    interaction with your ex as well as your child. 
    This means every email and every text. This also means write down every
    conversation that you believe is relevant to the problem. You may need these
    for court.
  2. Never bad mouth the other
    parent. This is crucial, both for court and for your child’s well-being.  Remember your child is a victim too.
  3. Reassure
    your child you love him/her regardless of the differences you have with your
    spouse. Be hyper vigilant about this.
  4. Always bring up good memories of the past
    to remind them of the good times. 
  5. Make sure you use to the court to enforce
    your visitation rights. 
  6. Always keep your word and be consistent when dealing with your

if you are being alienated from your child, I highly recommend that you seek
out a trained professional. P.A.S. is complicated and very specific to the
situation. Children and ex-spouses can be unpredictable, and the courts can be
very difficult to navigate. I know, because I’ve been through it all myself.”

you’d like more information click on Parental Alienation Syndrome or Susan Shofer and find out what you can do to get your child back in your