Parental alienation syndrome is prevalent in children of divorced or separated couples. The syndrome develops when a child cultivates hate, fear, and rejection towards one parent. The targeted parent is usually the one who does not live with the child.
ShayneLaw.com, a family law attorney in Colorado Springs, notes that it is difficult to prove parental alienation. However, a targeted parent can start by documenting children’s behaviors and discuss them with a lawyer. The majority of children with this syndrome manifest the following attitude:
Condemnation of the Targeted Parent
Alienated children have massive hatred towards the targeted parent. They do not recognize any positive past encounters with the targeted parent. They also reject communication and contact with this parent.
Lack of Ambivalence Towards the Alienating Parent
Alienated children perceive their alienating parent – usually the one who lives with the children – as a perfect mother or father. When asked about negative things about their alienating parent, an alienated child will likely say nothing. This behavior is very unusual, as most children have mixed feelings toward their parents – they usually talk about both the good and bad qualities of their parents.
Denial About the Influence
Alienated children deny that their alienating parent influences them to reject the targeted parent. They usually say that their decision to hate the targeted parent is their personal idea.
When asked about why they hate the targeted parent, alienated children will likely give irrational reasons. Some of them complain about the parent’s appearance or eating habits, while others invent absurd accusations against this parent.
Rejection of Targeted Parent’s Extended Family
The hatred spreads to the targeted parent’s extended family. Alienated children despise the family, even if they had positive past experiences with these relatives.
This issue is a sensitive one, yet there are no easy solutions for it. Thus, divorced parents who notice this kind of behavior from their children should not just hire a reliable family lawyer, but must also go beyond their means to regain the love of their children.