What You Must Know about ‘Parent Alienation Syndrome’

When Dave’s parents separated, he was perhaps nine or ten years old. Even though there was a lot of stress and disagreement in the house, he was still astonished that the family was dissolving, even if it was difficult for him. It was particularly good that he continued to live with his mother in the house he knew. He was allowed to remain at his school and in the community where the majority of his pals resided. With the exception of sporadic trips with his father, he cherished his house, his friends, and his pets. He also felt comfortable there.

It wasn’t until he was in his late 20s that he realized his mother had mistreated him severely. How may someone be abused and not realize it? Parent Alienation, also known as Parent Alienation Syndrome (PAS), is a kind of gradual and inconspicuous abuse that he suffered for more than half of his life.

What is Parent Alienation Syndrome?

It’s a kind of emotional and psychological abuse that doesn’t always leave visible wounds. Moving forward, all that is indicated in red will represent PAS symptoms and indicators.

How does it begin?

It moved pretty slowly at first. Sometimes mom would make disparaging remarks about dad. For instance, “your dad is mean,” “your dad doesn’t understand you,” or “your dad is too strict.” Things grew worse over time as mom started telling Dave things like how lonely she was, how anxious she was about money, and how she would use Dave to find out details about his dad’s personal life. Dave would frequently hear his mother griping and disparaging his father over the phone. Furthermore, mom would take Dave to counseling or medical visits without informing his father for several days or weeks. She was operating outside of the terms of the custody arrangement. Dave gradually wanted to spend less and less time with his dad, who lived a few towns away. He would worry about his mother being alone and miss his pals.

His father was now the “bad” guy.

Over time, more things began to occur. Dave’s mother was usually more “understanding” of his struggles in school, whereas his father often punished him for receiving low marks. Dave’s mother would obstruct any efforts to correct him for his bad behavior or low grades. Dave’s mother used to tell him that since his father was strict and unjust in his disciplining, Dave’s father was the “bad” guy. Dave’s mother ended up becoming his closest pal. He felt he couldn’t truly open up to his dad and that he could tell her anything, which made spending time with him increasingly awkward.

When Dave was fifteen, the abuse became more severe. His father had experienced some financial difficulties. Although he was unaware of the specifics, it appeared to be quite intense. Dave’s father had to reduce their expenses and was very preoccupied with attempting to restart his career. Around this time, Dave’s mother began to divulge more information about the legal matters his father was involved in. Even though she was ignorant of the specifics, she felt confident enough to present her theories as reality.

She went so far as to fabricate stories to Dave about the divorce, her financial hardships, and his “dad’s fault.” She would also show him texts and emails that Dave’s father had written her, among many other things, which made Dave increasingly upset. Dave’s academic difficulties, melancholy, low self-esteem, and binge eating got worse and worse. Ultimately, Dave decided he didn’t want to see his dad at all because it appeared like Dad was the reason he was having so much trouble.

He became his mother’s spokesperson.

Then, almost out of the blue, mom contacted her attorney and began the process of modifying the custody arrangement. Dave’s father would question Dave about what was going on and why Dave was so furious with him as soon as he began to feel pushed away. Dad began to sense that mom was determined to keep Dave to herself when Dave began to relay fragments of what she was saying. The things that Dave would say to his father sounded exactly like the things that Dave’s mother had said to him in the past.

Dave was now his mother’s spokesperson. He was unsure of how to intervene or assist Dave in realizing that she was deliberately attempting to divert him from his father. Dave’s father was aware that his mother, despite having initiated the divorce, was still harboring resentment. Dave’s father was aware of their numerous differences and the fact that they had never agreed on a parenting method, but he never imagined that she would deliberately attempt to turn Dave against him.

Dave’s tale is not all that unusual.

It’s unfortunate but true that a lot of divorced parents mistakenly or purposely incite their kids to be against their former partner. It is illegal for a custody-holding parent to sabotage a child’s relationship with the other parent unless there is proof of abuse and the youngster should not be seeing both parents. In a clear instance of psychological and emotional abuse, Dave’s mother was isolating Dave from his father by attacking him. Over time, Dave’s mother gradually instilled in him the notion that his father was the “evil” parent and she was the “perfect” one.


Parent Alienation Syndrome has been used to describe this, but I like to call it what it is: brainwashing. Now that Dave is older, what in the world could his father have done or be able to do?

First, we need to comprehend brainwashing in order to know what to do. In Dave’s case, his mother employed denial and strong manipulation to shape his impression of his father through falsehoods and disparaging remarks. Sadly, Dave’s father was limited in what he could accomplish. He did try his best to keep in touch with Dave, taking him out to dinners and games. He made a concerted effort to keep himself as connected as possible by sending his kid special dates and texts. As encouraged by his therapist, Dave’s father showed him nothing more than love and patience throughout that period. In order to avoid unintentionally aggravating Dave’s situation, Dave’s father sought advice and help.

The battle with sadness and low self-esteem

Dave struggled with extremely poor self-esteem and eating disorder tendencies as he grew older and approached adulthood. He saw that his problems were affecting his life and that his despair was still there. He experienced his “moment of clarity” one day. It’s what us pros like to refer to as the “aha” moment. He genuinely missed his dad when he woke up one day, albeit he wasn’t sure exactly where, when, or how it had happened. He started a process of reconnecting with his father by calling him once a week and spending more time with him. Before Dave experienced his epiphany, there was little that Dave’s father could do to stop the estrangement and brainwashing.

At last, Dave reconnected with his deep-rooted need to love both of his parents and to be loved in return. Dave started the process of healing from the trauma he had suffered at the hands of his mother after coming to this realization. Eventually, he was able to share his experiences and lessons with her. His bond with his mother will take a long time to mend, but at least he has a connection to both parents and wants to know and be known by them both.

The tragic aspect of this tale is that children are born with the urge and desire to love both of their parents and to be loved in return. Divorce has no effect on that. If you are reading this, please prioritize your children.

Kids should be encouraged to interact with the other parent.

Please encourage your children to maintain contact with the other parent during the legal terms of the custody agreement if you and your spouse have split or divorced. Please remember that relationships take time to build, so be consistent but also adaptable. Never, ever criticize the other parent in front of or within earshot of the child. To prevent your personal problems from affecting the kids, please get counseling for any unresolved difficulties you may have with your ex.

Above all, kindly encourage your children’s relationship with the other parent if there is no proof of abuse. No child ever requests a divorce. They never ask for the dissolution of their family. Children of divorce whose parents uphold ordinary decency and respect throughout life adjust considerably better and have healthier connections over the long run. Prioritize the needs of the children. Isn’t that the essence of being a parent?