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Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS

Updated on August 23, 2017

Divorce Child Custody Laws and PAS

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)? Who gets custody of the child in a high conflict divorce? The term 'parental alienation syndrome' refers to complicated issues related to divorce & child custody. PAS issues and controlling parents are rampant within divorce courts!

Child residential custody laws do not prevent aggressive parenting and the most devastating cases often result in the alienation of affection toward one parent.

Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS refers to situations when one parent undertakes a deliberate campaign to turn the child against the other and undermine the child's love for that other parent, and the innocent child then becomes a victim. Divorcing parents often use their children as pawns to hurt the ex. PAS occurs when there's an intention not just to divorce the spouse, but to completely cut the other parent out of the equation with manipulation of the children involved.

Residential custody battles in high conflict divorce are often complicated by hostile aggressive parenting, false accusations and situations where one parent alienates or brainwashes a child against the other parent with no evidence of wrongdoing. Are YOU a parent whose prior relationship with your child has been damaged due to divorce? Know one? You likely do, even if you aren't aware of it.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) could be described as:
the emotional roller coaster of disbelief and a shattered heart experienced when a parent watches their adored and loved children fall prey to the hands of someone who hates their ex more than they love their own kids.

above image ~Magickal Graphics~

PAS is not the same as domestic abuse, yet certainly IS emotional abuse as brainwashing the mind of a child. Alarming numbers of innocent and loving parents have become separated from their own offspring after divorce.

Residential custody battles have become an easy target for the 'family court' system and for vindictive spouses who will use their own children as pawns in a battle to WIN. To win what? Read on... for it is complicated. Parent alienation syndrome (PAS) is very damaging yet not particularly well known nor understood.

Before arriving at this web page, ever hear of Parent Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?

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POLL: Ever Heard of PAS? - Is the term PAS in reference to divorce child custody laws new to you?

PAS is a critical condition which drastically effects the lives of many many families worldwide, and yet many people have never even heard of it. Have YOU?

Dr. Reay's published research study demonstrates the correlation between levels of parental alienation and psychological distress of adults. Published on Sep 9, 2013

Dr. Kathleen Reay offers a tremendous amount of direction and tools to help parents and professionals deal with the ramifications of Parental Alienation.

What happens to children who are manipulated by one parent to turn against the other? Do these children ever figure it out and reconcile with their "lost" parent?

I pray that mine do, and yours too. Amen.

HOW to Fight PAS Today!

Book, "Parent Alienation After Divorce" - from author, Rick Nischalke who co-founded the organization "Keeping Families Connected"

Parental Alienation after Divorce - Child Abuse or Hype? (Divorce Advice Book 1)
Parental Alienation after Divorce - Child Abuse or Hype? (Divorce Advice Book 1)

Would a parent intentionally alienate their own child from the other parent? Why and how might they do that? Or is it possible that one might accuse an innocent parent to gain leverage in a child custody battle? Who should we believe? What is really going on?

This short read might help separate fact from fiction. Is Parental Alienation real? And is it child abuse?


Psychological Stress and PAS

Dr. Amy Baker Speaks about PAS - "The Ties that Bind" is specifically about Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS from an expert who knows more about this controvers

Dr. Amy Baker is an author, researcher & expert about Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS. Her book "The Ties that Bind" has received the highest acclaim among books published about this controversial subject.

Dr. Baker's Book about PAS - "Breaking the Ties that Bind" is a collection of case studies from adults who were dragged throught the nightmare of parent alienat

This book is comprised of interviews of the KIDS (now adults) who were poisoned, not the parents who were either the alienator or the target parent.
Read what these people, who as children were manipulated into hating one of their parents, had to say once they "woke up" in actual quotes from numerous interviews.

Two important lessons learned from the quotes in book above:

1. The average length of time it took these kids to "wake up" was 20 years! (Many never do).

2. The overwhelming majority said they wished the targeted parent had tried harder to re-develop the relationship, regardless of how much they were "hated".

In another title by Amy Baker that's gold, this book explores PAS in a deeper way with personal narratives from the perspective of alienated parents. The inner experience of alienated parents and their children evokes ragged emotions which won't necessarily heal the pain of surviving PAS, but certainly help not to feel so alone.
Of particular interest for many is the last chapter titled "Strategies for Reconnecting with Adult Alienated Children".

Gregory Mandell Show: Excellent Intro to PAS

Animosity happens in most divorces. However, about 85% of parents do eventually get past that initial tension and figure out custody issues through mediation and/or negotiation. The remaining 10-15% are those severe cases of alienation that involve a parent who is obsessed with having a child to love them alone.

Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS is a very serious issue that is actually gender neutral. The perpetrators are NOT all female as some think. Here are interviews with three women: a counselor, a police officer and the director of the film "Jake's Closet" which is based on a true story about PAS.

This 25 minute long video below is an excellent overview about PAS.

No Way Out But One - A Shocking new Documentary about PAS

This woman had proof that her and her children were being abused, yet family courts gave full custody to the abusive dad. She left the country with her kids and was granted asylum in the Netherlands. That is unfortunately NOT the happy ending to this shocking story.

Dr. Phil TV Show and PAS - Thumbs Down

Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS on TV Talk Shows: Editorial Review of Dr. Phil from the Amputated Mom

The Dr. Phil TV show has aired some episodes about parental alienation syndrome PAS. Television COULD be an effective route to educate the public about PAS, but the Dr. Phil Show used a strategy that may even do more harm than good.

A more effective and reasonable approach would be interviewing experts and authors about parent alienation. Those interviews reveal the real facts and hidden truths that tend to fly under the radar and make PAS such a complicated topic.

Editorial comments: Such 'he said - she said'' type of public bickering serves no purpose and seems to reveal Dr. Phil's own ignorance about the realities behind PAS. Those who want to learn real facts about parental alienation syndrome PAS might consider the many MUCH better sources than the Dr. Phil TV Show.

'Advice for Divorcing Parents' by Judge Michael Haas 2001

Minnesota Judge has blunt words for divorcing parents with kids who are dealing with child custody issues and parental alienation syndrome.

"Your children have come into this world because of the two of you. Perhaps you two made lousy choices as to whom you decided to be the other parent. If so, that is your problem and your fault.

No matter what you think of the other party-or what your family thinks of the other party-these children are one-half of each of you. Remember that, because every time you tell your child what an "idiot" his father is, or what a "fool" his mother is, or how bad the absent parent is, or what terrible things that person has done, you are telling the child half of him is bad.

That is an unforgivable thing to do to a child. That is not love. That is possession. If you do that to your children, you will destroy them as surely as if you had cut them into pieces, because that is what you are doing to their emotions.

I sincerely hope that you do not do that to your children. Think more about your children and less about yourselves, and make yours a selfless kind of love, not foolish or selfish, or your children will suffer."

..."These parents are generally articulate, resourceful, and competent in all other aspects of their lives - except in the realm of parenting. In fact, these individuals might easily be mistaken for ideal parents...because they profess love and concern for their children. What sets them apart from other dysfunctional parents is their overwhelming commitment to meeting their own needs first."

— Dr. Reena Sommer

Many alienating parents will be smart enough to avoid actually calling the kid a traitor, yet will punish that child in other subtle ways and reward them for being an ally in equally subtle ways. This is brainwashing and very damaging to the child, who will feel confused and yet know on some level that loving the other parent will cause trouble.

Divorce Poison New and Updated Edition: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing
Divorce Poison New and Updated Edition: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing

It would be a different world if this perspective about children, parenting and custody were required reading for every family court judge, for every family law attorney and for every parent going through a divorce.


Divorce Poison - Take ACTION about PAS - The #1 Most HIGHLY Recommended Book for Alienated Parents suffering the painful process of divorce child custody laws

Being alienated as a parent is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences some will ever endure.

Maybe the worst is that feeling that there's nothing one can do in the face of such horror.

What makes this particular book so valuable is that Dr. Warshak takes each example of alienation and then gives you a TAKE ACTION assignment on how to best combat the attempts by your ex.

"Divorce Poison" is a classic that must be read by anyone who truly cares about children and the impact that divorce has on them. .

POLL: YOUR Take on the PAS Controversy?

Should PAS be officially classified as a mental health condition?

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Parental Alienation Syndrome Laws

Controversy within family courts in part due to no established definition of PAS as a disorder in the DSM manual.

Opponents and critics of PAS argue that it does not exist in a large part because it does not appear in the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

As with any condition, there is always a lag period between the time it was first identified and when it is fully embraced by the community at large (and included in such legal references). It took 95 years before Tourette's syndrome was listed in the DSM!

There are many examples of this such as: schizophrenia, cancer, attention deficit disorder, anorexia, dyslexia, HIV and AIDS. ALL of these conditions existed long before they were fully acknowledged by legal authorities and listed in references such as the DSM-IV named above. Also homosexuality was once described in the DSM as a deviant condition - but no longer.

Given that modern internet technology makes it possible for the transmissions of information and publication of research to occur much faster than ever before, one might expect that PAS will be included in legal references as a mental condition much more quickly than were the other conditions named above. Efforts are underway to classify PAS as an official mental health syndrome in the DSM manual.

However due to controversial nature of the term Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS and heavy resistance to change within the family court system, it could take years before that official listing and documentation is in place. Meanwhile, to discount the existence of PAS is to turn our backs on children who are being deprived of their right to love and be loved by both parents.

While there's broad agreement that PAS occurs and is usually triggered by a divorce and child-custody dispute, the bitter debate is about whether the condition should be formally classified as a mental health syndrome. What do YOU think? Vote below about these parent alienation laws.

Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS Controversy in the Courts

Gender wars, false accusations, lack of documentation in court manuals and lack of education about the syndrome among professionals keep the controversy alive.

The very term PAS has become controversial for many reasons:

* PAS knows no gender. Originally PAS was under attack from female groups as a male tactic used against mothers in high conflict divorce. However, both men and women are victims of PAS just as both men and women file false charges or commit acts of abuse.

* Some are false accusations. Just as there are accusers who file false charges of abuse, accusations of parent alienation are also being used falsely against innocent parents. This only makes PAS even more difficult to prove.

* Currently not a documented syndrome. While there are volumes of books and articles published regarding the subject of PAS, the family court system has yet to officially include PAS in their own accepted legal resources regarding mental disorders. Efforts are currently underway to change this, however that publication could take years to be updated.

* Lack of education among professionals involved. Many (most) professionals and decision-makers involved have not been properly educated about this syndrome, such as lawyers, judges, counselors & therapists, teachers and pediatricians. Therefore, they often make the very opposite recommendation than what might actually be in the best interest of the children involved.

"What Tigers Do" Film Based on Actual PAS Events - New film depicts actual events in a child residential custody battle.

This video is a promotional scene from "WHAT TIGERS DO," a recent feature about a child custody battle written & directed by Richmond Riedel.

In this intense and dramatic scene, a divorced father shows up on his bitter ex-wife's doorstep to pick up their 2 sons with a court order. Inspired by actual events, this film depicts the ugliness of parental alienation of a biological parent in custody battles.

Parental Alienation Laws and Child Support

Getting out of paying child support is one part of the alienating parent's personal victory, a sad shadow on divorce child custody laws.

Of the many questions people tend to ask about PAS, one of the most common is something like...'but WHY would any parent DO such a thing to their own child?'

Good question... especially given that this condition tends to be very insidious - under the radar sneaky and apparent only to those closely involved or have been educated about such a condition. Parents who would go do such damage are not very stable mentally in the first place, however they tend to be pros at creating a personal facade indicating otherwise, and will go to great lengths to impress others. Deep down it's only about THEM and only them - a narcissistic personality.

If one understands this person as a narcissist or sociopath as the frame of mind that created the problem, then the notion that a parent might make false accusations and even brainwash their own child in order to get out of paying child support is not that hard to fathom.

The custodial parent who pays child support will no longer have to pay it if they can convince the child (children) that the other parent is bad. The narcissist is a ME-ME-ME person, one who 'needs' the child (and everyone else) to adore them alone.

The sociopath is equally selfish, but also has no genuine conscience whatsoever, zero ability to feel basic human emotions such as empathy and compassion. They study people and are often quite skilled at the ACT - might be able to convince others they feel such emotions, but it's all a cunning act. Given such selfishness and complete disregard for others, getting out of child support is just another victory in the ME-ME-ME sickness.

For example, one alienated parent writes:

"After my ex left for his girlfriend, I managed to keep the house for five years somehow, but it was killing me financially to do so on my own. I'd sold most of my personal belongings on eBay to help pay the mortgage. Finally I had to let it foreclose and declare bankruptcy. Shortly afterward, my ex had me served with legal docs. No surprise that he wanted to get out of paying child support, I knew that was his ultimate goal all along. Given he had persuaded my sons to live with him, I had no reason to fight it. Yet even I was shocked that he had the nerve to demand things like that I would pay his attorney fees and even back-pay of child support. I was flat broke, bankrupt and homeless, for Pete's sake...and he KNEW it! He makes well over $100K. Sick, sick man!"

Duel: What's YOUR take about PAS?

Without clear evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the parent being alienated, then ... what?

Tensions over child custody are common in divorce. PAS is NOT about these usual tensions over custody. Instead PAS refers to situations when the issues escalate to the point where one parent is totally alienated with no logical reason, yet the child (children) have begun to act very hateful toward that parent when there once was a close and loving relationship.

Given that reality, what action shall the courts and other involved legal reps take toward this controversial issue? Many claim that parent alienation is criminal, child abuse at its worst! ...while others claim that evidence is not sufficient to make a custody decision at this time. What do YOU think?

What's YOUR Take about PAS?

What points should the family courts & all concerned consider heavily with regard to PAS?

PAS in Action: Sly Trickery - A not so funny cartoon... too true & too sad!

PAS From a Child's Point of View

The man in this video has suffered dearly, yet continues to stay focused in the fight for the well-being of his two sons who happen to be around the same ages as mine. His book "A Family's Heartbreak" appears below the video.

Michael Jeffries and Rick Nischalke created a wonderfully supportive website about PAS that gets rave reviews from this author as part of the solution!

"If you ever doubted Parental Alienation exists or don't understand how it could happen, you need to see this parental alienation video. It will be life-changing! It portrays the emotional brainwashing that happens to a child during the parental alienation process." Rick Nischalke

A Family's Heartbreak: A Parent's Introduction to Parental Alienation
A Family's Heartbreak: A Parent's Introduction to Parental Alienation

A Family's Heartbreak" is a must read for anyone who suspects that PAS is working its way into his or her life.


A Family's Heartbreak - by Michael Jeffries

This author, Michael Jeffries, has used the trauma and tragedy of his own personal nightmare to show how what would seem unbelievable CAN actually occur.

His book is highly rated in that it quite vividly illustrates in detail just how far a close parent-child relationship can fall due to forced parent alienation.

A right on target perspective about what unbelievable nightmares can occur as a result of PAS.

This author also keeps an active blog of this same title. Link below.

Parentectomy - A Clever Book Title about Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS - Highly recommended by this amputated mom, this clever title provides the emotional s

If you want to learn more about PAS and how it is perpetrated, this book "Parentectomy" will enlighten you.

If you are caught in the grips of parental alienation and the devastating consequences it has on those entangled in it, this book will validate you, restore your confidence, and raise your spirits.

While it does FEEL as though we've had a 'parentectomy' we do still remain loving moms and dads. The challenge is parenting within a world that generally does not 'see' nor support this issue as critical.

"This book is an eye-opener for parents and professionals to witness the breakdown of parental bonds due to revenge. You will find comfort in this emotional roller coaster as a mother finds her way in the world while battling her ex to continue to be what she always was -- a mother."
--Chrissy Chrzanowski, Founder-Parental Alienation Hurts --PAHurts

Expect gender bias in family court. Men & women are treated differently. Be prepared to counteract this bias.

FILM: "Jake's Closet" about Child Custody Nightmares - If only the judges, lawyers and couselors were required to watch this heartwrenching film about PAS throu


"Jake’s Closet" delivers an unforgettably powerful suspense film seen through the eyes of a little boy coping with his parents' divorce. It takes you on a deeply moving journey as Jake painfully views the horrors of his parents’ escalating divorce. He finds himself haunted by something ominous lurking in his bedroom closet.

When Jake finally confronts the presence in his closet, it leads him to a chilling revelation in a climax you’ll never forget. Hidden inside the heart of this edge-of-your-seat haunting tale is a profound and long overdue film that reveals the loss of innocence and heart-wrenching pain suffered by children of high conflict divorce

A Kidnapped Mind: A Mother's Heartbreaking Memoir of Parental Alienation
A Kidnapped Mind: A Mother's Heartbreaking Memoir of Parental Alienation

This story details one mother's efforts to stop her ex husband from alienating her son from her ... and his ultimate death through suicide. She does everything she thinks is the right thing to do, but ultimately it did not work. She shares her painful hindsight advice to all parents who are going through

Parental Alienation Syndrome is real, this heart-wrenching story is proof.


"A Kidnapped Mind" True Story - Heartbreaking True Story of a Suicide as a Result of Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS

This true story is excruciatingly painful to read. With rare courage and brutal honesty, a mother and former Vancouver broadcaster Pamela Richardson tells the tragic tale of her son's suicide...

"A Kidnapped Mind" takes readers on a real life emotional roller-coaster ride. Its message is that whenever possible, former partners and the justice system should work together to ensure that children maintain strong and positive relationships with BOTH parents.

"Parental alienation is a series of seemingly innocent mis-communication, or concerns for the well-being of a child; and it is only when the dots are connected that you see the complete picture."

— Pisarra, LA attorney
Welcome Back Pluto: Understanding, Preventing, and Overcoming Parental Alienation
Welcome Back Pluto: Understanding, Preventing, and Overcoming Parental Alienation

"Pluto" should be a standard part of the curriculum of co-parenting classes, parent education workshops, and anger management groups. Lawyers and therapists will want to hand out copies to clients to prevent children from becoming casualties of divorce and to help those at various stages of alienation to restore positive relationships with their parents."

--From The American Journal of Family Therapy


"Welcome Back Pluto" Film - Divorce Poisin - This unique film portrays PAS in a way designed for both parents and children affected by parent alienation.

Featuring Dr. Richard Warshak, author of Divorce Poison...

the first ever program designed for parents and children to watch together, this film is an essential resource for rejected, alienated, and estranged parents.

This moving DVD is an indispensable and welcome addition to the growing field of information about parental alienation of children.

...but what can I DO?

How can I help fight

against PAS?

— You?

HOW to HELP Fight Against PAS

Silence is Violence! Speak UP! Get Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS out of the closet and into the media and minds of especially those closely involved.

How to Help? We're glad you asked. SPREAD THE WORD about PAS!

Do that in whatever way (s) you can. Here are just a few examples:

*E-mail a link to this web page or others about PAS to people you know.

*Post on facebook about PAS.

*Give a book to a friend, even a stranger, as a gift.

*Ask your local library to order some of the book titles listed here.

*If you have a web site or blog, consider publishing about PAS.

*Write a book review for your local paper or web site.

*Ask your favorite radio show to book the author as a guest.

*Own a shop or business, or know someone who does? Consider a display of books about PAS.

*Buy books and donate them to homeless shelters, prisons, rehabilitation and group homes.

*College students in psychology, counseling, social work or any mental health field might ask professors to incorporate parental alienation into their course overviews and put parental alienation books on their reading lists.

Counselors or therapists who are uninformed are unable to 'see' the abuse hidden behind a charming facade. This can and will enable the situation to only become worse.

"Children do not naturally lose interest in and become distant from their nonresidential parent simply by virtue of the absence of that parent.

Also, healthy and established parental relationships do not erode naturally of their own accord. They must be attacked."

— Michael Bone and Michael Walsh, Florida Bar Journal, March 1999

'Joint Custody with a Jerk' - Excellent book to support those who are stuck in the tragedy of PAS nightmares with an uncooperative spouse in child custody.

Joint Custody with a Jerk: Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex
Joint Custody with a Jerk: Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex

An excellent book that reveals the horrors of parent alienation and offers specific suggestions regarding how to respond to this type of conflict.


Common Questions about Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS

Disbelief is a common could this BE? Get educated and spread the word, because this disbelief reaction must be faced.

The basic questions most everyone ask about this controversial issue of PAS include:

1. How can he/she [the parent] DO that to their OWN child ?

2. Doesn't he/she realize how badly that child is being hurt?

3. Why can't (fill in the blank -- your attorney, the judge, the psychologist, the police) do anything to help?

These are questions any affected parent will ask, desperately looking for an answer. But these are also key questions professionals should ask, and often do NOT.

These question should open up a new, very important perspective. From a mental health viewpoint, consider that most often these questions relate to a parent who is often very highly educated, one that we'd expect to fully understand the dramatic, even lifelong consequences of destroying the relationship of the child with the other parent.

In such severe cases of parental alienation, the alienated parent will not develop any insight into what he or she is doing to the child, will not see that it is psychological abuse. Such a parent also will NOT see a mental health professional with a genuine desire of being helped, but will reject anyone who does not exactly support their own view. So conventional psychotherapy will not work. Therefore, the legal and mental health system fail to prevent child abuse by parental alienation with its serious long term consequences.

What Causes Parental Alienation Syndrome PAS?

Parent who alienate have serious unresolved personal issues.

"What causes a parent to want to damage the relationship of their own child with the other parent at their own child's expense? Intentions differ from one parent to the next, but psychologists have suggested the following as potential motivators:

An alienating parent may:

* have unresolved anger toward the other parent for perceived wrongs during the relationship and may be unable to separate those issues from parenting issues.

* have unresolved issues from their childhood, particularly in how they related to their own parents. He or she projects this onto the other parent (whether or not it's factually accurate).

* have a personality disorder, such as narcissism or paranoia. A narcissist is unable to empathize with the child's feelings or see the way their behavior is harming the child. Such personality disorders may also result in jealousy and/or extreme rage toward the other parent.

* be so insecure as to his or her own parenting skills that he or she projects those concerns onto the other parent, regardless of reality.

* be so wrapped up in their child's life that he or she has no separate identity. The child's relationship with the other parent is seen as a threat.


The Child and PAS

What causes a child to buy into the alienating parent's brainwashing?

The child may:

* Feel the need to protect a parent who's depressed, panicky or needy

* Want to avoid the anger or rejection of a dominant parent, who's also often the custodial parent

* Want to hold onto the parent the child is most afraid of losing, such as a parent who is self-absorbed or not very involved with the child."


A mother wrote: "Maybe one day I'll understand what went through their heads, what on earth they were thinking? Their dad had a girlfriend, snuck around with her, lied about it and even told THEM to lie about her too. Dad chose to move out and divorce. I'd quit my job when they were tiny babies and devoted my everything to raising them, was the primary caregiver who was there for them while dad was often absent. So how on earth can they find ME to be the guilty one? Will I ever understand?"

PAS Alerts to Psychologists

Training about PAS and Narcissism is Critical to being in a position to support those who are being manipulated by PAS and divorce child custody laws.

Often what counselors see is very charming behavior from a well-spoken and professional adult. Narcissists tend to also be very accomplished liars, even to the point of being confused at the difference between truth and lies since putting on a show of being someone else becomes such a huge part of the personality. In order to recognize PAS, a therapist would need to see beyond the charming facade.

Maybe this client is wealthy or at least offers financial support and might very well hold a professional position. That's about money, but how much actual time does this person spend parenting? Take note of what is said and whether a client contradicts his or her own statements, which could very well be a red flag.

True story: One woman was finally able to get cooperation from her ex for counseling regarding custody and parenting issues in a high conflict divorce. However the therapist was totally duped by the charms of her ex and supported his lies. Counseling after only a few sessions and the mom eventually lost her sons to the manipulative and alienating dad. The therapist was blind to this and actually supported his manipulation.

Prior to this experience, the very same man had actually attacked his wife inside a marriage counselor's office, and was referred to counseling for abuse. However he'd been very charming before that day in a different office, and so the therapist had no clue. This was years prior to the divorce and sessions regarding custody, yet repeated trips to counselors lacked understanding nor support about the actual reality of the situation.

If those involved in furthering the pain of PAS (judges, lawyers, family courts, therapists, etc.) had ever experienced it themselves, they'd likely be suicidal.

The ultimate ignorance is speaking out about issues you know nothing about.

Controlling Minds & High Conflict Divorce - Ever tried to walk two dogs at once and feel they are ripping you apart?

How it Feels to be an Alienated Parent

Healing from the nightmare of PAS seems never-ending. Divorce child custody laws and the manipulation of family courts can be devastating.

"Each day I grieve and struggle with the loss of my sons. I feel like I just don't know how to get through it ... how not to throw down the rest of my life and cry out at the unfairness and horror of losing them in this way. But nobody died, and so people rarely understand. So I keep living and writing and shopping for groceries and paying the bills and trying to pretend I am not grieving every day, every hour... praying for them and wondering how they are doing and what maybe I ought to be doing that I'm not doing. I have to just tell myself to just STOP, stop even thinking of them in order to even function from day to day. They were such a HUGE part of me, live nearby and yet... they are gone. Birthdays and holidays come and go, and soon my first born son will graduate from high school. I want to share this and other milestones in the life of my heart."

"He can't hurt me much more than he already has done, yet he still tries now and then. Words cannot express the intense despair I feel to see the mind games he continues to play with my sons. I pray they'll one day escape his hold on them. They are older now and not around him much anymore, but he uses his money to manipulate them. He has married the girlfriend, no surprise for he'll always need some victim. She and I have never met. I know exactly why my ex doesn't want us to ever meet each other. Will it ever occur to her?"

--amputated mom

The Effects of Family & Friends on PAS Pain

Could there be a PAS story in someone you know?

We all know people who've divorced and hear stories, but did you ever consider that maybe there's MUCH more to that divorce story than you had any idea? Those who buy a story that is not true often contribute to the problem, especially if they repeat it to others.

Some are quite clever in hiding the truth, and this is particularly true of parents who alienate. Those who buy the story only contribute to the problem.

For example, one dad tells family members and friends how his sons are free to see their mom anytime they like when this is not the case at all and hasn't been for years. Most believe his lies, especially those with no contact with the mom. The others know better.

Another example: Mom suddenly began receiving phone calls from friends and even business partners, concerned that she is an alcoholic. Dad planted the seed and it worked on many of them, who continued spreading this story. Fortunately, all close friends from the era of the marriage remain close to that mom now a decade later. The business partners are gone, and so is that business.

Assumptions of 'truth' only add to the pain. These kids never asked for their parents to divorce. nor do they want to be in the middle of an ugly war between their parents.

No matter how well you think you know a person, do not spread rumors. Without face-to-face personal contact with a person, any words spoken about them are rumors. Do not judge nor assume.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Divorce - from the Huffington Post

Recent article delves below the surface of the kinds of games often played in courtrooms by those with narcissistic personality disorder.

Teenagers and PAS

While young children may be most vulnerable to manipulation, teenagers are easily manipulated too.

The child may also be manipulated by the alienating parent with money and privileges that the other parent would refuse to give. This tactic works especially well with teenagers. If dad will buy him a car and let him hang with his friends for extended periods of time regardless of grades and personal responsibility, this leaves an easy choice for a teenager wanting to escape the entire mess in the first place. Teens tend not to desire emotional closeness with their parents anymore, but money and privileges will almost always matter highly.

Comment from one mom of teenagers: "My ex bought my 17 year old son a car. At that time my son had failing grades in school, so I would not have agreed to this. A few months later my son was arrested for possession of drugs. Dad hired a lawyer to delete the charge. No communication with me about either event. Both actions were totally out of bounds in terms of our 'parenting agreement'. Yet he and his lawyers still got away with it."

Teenagers who are tangled inside the web of PAS may tend to emit a unique set of circumstances. They might be particularly prone to a sense of entitlement and at the same time have not much in the way of an emotional relationship with either parent. The alienating parent will often deliver a regular flow of money and privileges, which only increases dependency (and lack of maturity and responsible behavior).

The Sociopath Next Door
The Sociopath Next Door

A most chilling and thought-provoking look at how common sociopaths are in our society, estimated at one in every four people! The most alarming variable is a complete lack of conscience. Note that sociopaths are also often highly intelligent, and that they are quite skilled at the ACT of displaying behaviors that appear to represent compassion, empathy, etc. however a deeper look reveals this as just that, an ACT. Underneath there is no conscience whatsoever.


PAS and the Sociopath

Parents who inflict such pain on their own children are certainly selfish. That narcissism is evident as a key in understanding PAS. This book is not about Parental Alienation Syndrome, however it might take that insight about it a step further.

While narcissistic behaviors are certainly involved in PAS, the sociopath is one who has no conscience whatsoever. They live a life of inflicting pain with no genuine remorse feelings at all. They are cunning enough to ACT as though they feel such at times, but those actual emotions felt by a person with a conscience are deplete in a sociopath.

So then to the inevitable PAS question..."But HOW could a person DO this to their own children?"

If we understand this person as a sociopath, then that answer is simple - This person has no concience!

Shout OUT about Parent Alienation - Have you been victim to PAS and divorce child custody laws? PAS Comments Welcome and Appreciated

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    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Thanks Nick. Very complicated yet very crucial to reveal PAS. Yes the video called "No Way Out" is related yet not exactly same, abduction as protection from PAS and abuse. This could be consider a reverse of PAS, yes. Kangaroo court made things worse. Sad beyond words.

    • profile image

      Nick Child 

      5 years ago

      A full and useful resource. Thanks.

      But the video No Way Out But One is not about PAS. Sometimes an abducting parent (for no good enough reason) is also an alienating parent. But this film is not presented as an abducting parent who is an alienating parent. It is about an important reverse of PAS - abduction as a way to protect your children from what was apparently openly and clearly a physically abusive parent.

      PAS is known to be emotional abuse of the child by the alienating parent but this is a much more subtle process of influence than outright abuse and threats than those presented in this film as what the father would have been using on his children. The courts apparently had evidence of his abuse before them but the father and his lawyers perhaps kept custody of the children by portraying that evidence as the mother alienating them from him.

      Complicated, isn't it?! The children and mother now (in the film) do not look as if they are other than genuine in their stories and evidence. That is that no PAS was happening. It was a desperate abduction in the service of protecting her children.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      There really are so very many emotions at play in divorce that I can easily see this happening all too often.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @Gypzeerose: Thanks Rose. It's a level of pain so deep...words can't describe really. yet those who've been there often DO try, too important an issue to ignore.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      An incredible and so, so needed lens. I have seen this played out in others lives and tried to make sure it did not in my own - although it is extremely hard to be nice to someone who has betrayed you and you hate. Divorce takes a lot of strength - and realizing that we need to dig deep inside ourselves to make sure that our most precious children are safe.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @Demaw: Ouch! Yes that such pain might actually carry on to future generations - to prevent contact with a grandchild. It is hard to find words to describe that level of pain. Pray. And know that karma will somehow catch up with such intentional evil behavior from the parent who started such inexusable ugliness.

    • Othercatt profile image


      6 years ago

      I've been dealing with this for years. Even though my ex has custody of the kids, he still insists on lying to them about me and trying to get them to hate me. The worst part is when my kids ask me about something their Dad said, I refuse to refute it or defend myself because calling their Dad a liar would upset them even more. It took him 9 years to wear down my 15 year old son (who, much to my exes delight, has refused to speak to me for the last 2 months). Thankfully my daughter hasn't given in yet. I just don't understand. It's like he thinks they can't love the both of us. My only hope is that someday when they're older, they'll be able to see the truth.

    • Demaw profile image


      6 years ago

      The alienation can cause problems for the next generation too, the alienated adult child alienates his/her kids from the victimized grandparent.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @carolinarobin: This is the truly sick twisted thing. After a child becomes an adult and realizes the horror their alienating parent put them through, they still remain forever loyal to the manipulating parent while just allowing the hurt parent to fall by the wayside. I am an alienated mom who is refusing to see my now adult children because they are still loyal to their dad. He is still pulling their strings and I cannot emotionally deal with the nightmare again.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @BigRedDomino: You are welcome. Best to you and your little girl. Stay strong.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @SusannaDuffy: Yep, I totally agree. Same goes for lawyers, etc. who know exactly what they are doing and let them get away with it.

    • BigRedDomino profile image


      6 years ago

      My daughter is a victim. I do what I can EVERY DAY to keep her emotionally sound. She is only 6 years old. Since she was 2 she has had to deal with the heartache he inflicts. Thank you for this very informative lens!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 

      6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      This is just dreadful - the parent who brainwashes a child into hate should be charged as a criminal

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @anonymous: Of course you are discouraged, surely that word puts your reaction to such mildly! Keep learning, for responding to such without 'awareness' can lead down paths that are not helpful. I understand that you are completely appalled, having been in similar situations. That emotion is completely understandable, and yet is not helpful at all within the court system, with attorneys, etc. Get it out with those who 'get' it, because it is real. Finding anyone within the courts or family services who will listen is tough, still no reason to give up. Too many people are hurt by this issue daily to ignore it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thought maybe this is what my ex-son-in-law was doing with our oldest grandchildren and now am sure. The sad thing in all of this is not only is our daughter being alienated from her children with a judge sitting on a temporary custody order and no ruling after 120 days but we have been alienated as well. This was tried five years ago with similar charges and the same judge in Alabama. I tried to notify Child Protection Services before our granddaughter went in and testified against her mother and stepfather but they wouldn't listen to me saying "emotional abuse is hard to prove." I asked that the children be put in a neutral environment until this could be ironed out in court and the social worked was appalled that I would even consider foster care for these children. Now we are living a nightmare along with our daughter who hasn't had visitation rights now for almost five months. Her ex-husband was over twenty-two thousand dollars behind in child support. Don't judges see a motivation factor there or is this just the society we live in. Discouraged.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens indeed ^^

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great Lens need that book

    • TarahFlesch profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens! :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This lens... is... awesome!! :)

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @Cari Kay 11: Thanks so much, Cari. Yes it IS evil. People who do this to their own children are sick, and part of the evilness is that our society lets them get away with it. Very sad.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image


      7 years ago

      I absolutely believe this is abuse! I had friends whose parents did this to them growing up and it was just evil. You've put together an amazing page. Blessed!

    • davidangel profile image


      7 years ago

      YES! Shout OUT and let everyone know that parental alienation is wrong and is child abuse.

      Here is my story:

      Great lens BTW

    • VivianAldana LM profile image

      VivianAldana LM 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the info. Great job!

    • TheBonchy profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      Sadly this happens to adult children as well. My friend's parents got divorced when she was nearly 18 and experienced the same guilt trip for loving both her parents. You'd think at that age it wouldn't affect you as much but I remember she was put through hell. I can't imagine what it would do to young children!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Awesome lens!

    • Reputation Mana profile image

      Reputation Mana 

      7 years ago

      This lens is so good I'd almost say it's perfect... nice job!! :)

    • Onemargaret LM profile image

      Onemargaret LM 

      7 years ago

      Very good information.

    • carolinarobin profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, this is a great lens and I can relate. My mother did this to some degree when my parents split whan I was in my teens. She laid in bed depressed and crying all the time and led me to believe it was all my dad's fault. Years and years went by before I realized some truths and to this day, I still do not have a close relationship with my dad. I have forgiven my mom and we are close as ever but the damage is done. I am now 50 and my dad's health is failing and I can't seem to reach him anymore.

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 

      7 years ago

      Great lens on a sensitive but very active issue.

    • siobhanryan profile image


      7 years ago


    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @Men-After-Divorce: I hope you will accept that PAS knows no gender, that both males and females are guilty of this crime against children.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @anonymous: Yes, and it is so true that PAS negatively effects relationships with extended family, not just the targeted parent. The heartbreak affects grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins, etc.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @anonymous: Definitely agree that the major victim in divorce is the child (or children). However money is often used as part of the problem in this scenario... the alienating parent will often give money freely to the children but NOT to the ex.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @JJNW: Right on target that the absolute cruelty of PAS grows from issues of control and manipulation AND that it is way more widespread than most people have any idea. It is a selfish sickness usually hidden behind a charming facade.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @musicaplenty: Well of course they should! Those who would lay such hatred and baggage on their own children are much too selfish to be concerned much about what they "should" do.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Surely this post is over the top, My ex told me my children hated my guts and couldn't stand to even stomach being around me anymore.They were 4,5 and 7.This makes me feel sick could. he have been lying, I thought that's why he changed the locks and kicked me out , they are crying when I ring he says its cause they hate it when I ring.He said I am a bad mother for so many reason.I love and miss my little children.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens, well done! Squidlike

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow - amazingly HUGE lens. I am not sure exactly what to think of this yet - will take some time to read again and digest.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Just wanted to thank you for a wonderful lens! Thanks for sharing! Scott

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @anonymous: Actually PAS is much more than just a theory even though the courts have yet to be educated enough to address it very well. Education about PAS is about preventing abuse, never causing it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      PAS is an untested and unproven theory, the inventor of which committed suicide last year. It is often used by abusive parents in custody issues as an excuse for the accusation of children against the abusive parent. In the U.S.A. there are now lawsuits being brought against the state by the children, now adults, who suffered from state support for the Pass theory and were often forced to live with the abusive parent as the non-abusive parent was condemned for believing the children. It is a very dangerous theory and expert questioning of children regarding accusations of abuse of any form can reveal if they have been told to make such accusation by lack of detail etc. However, as the safety of children should always be paramount any accusation by a child should be considered very seriously. Tragically, the PAS theory and support for it has led to thousands of children suffering, what is essentially state-sanctioned abuse for many years beyond their disclosures when they are forced to have contact or live with their abusers. Treat the PAS theory with the utmost caution and bear in mind that abusive adults are very good at gaining sympathy with a good sob story.

    • musicaplenty profile image


      7 years ago

      A Judge Judy has often stated:

      "Parents should love their children more than they hate each other."

    • Millionairemomma profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for the courage to share your story. You confirm the bond I feel for my child. Don't give up. Don't give up. Don't give up.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      PAS is very real. I am witnessing this happen to my son by his ex wife, it is sad to see what is happening to formally loving grandchildren. these children used to hug me, call me, tell me they loved me, laugh with me want to visit me and now they say don"t touch me you are not my family my mother is my family

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent albeit heartbraking information on PAS. I believe the term should be more child-focused; Child Alienation seems to me to be the ultimate abuse here. My spirit cries for the pain the children suffer, as well as for the parent who is subjected to undeserved alienation. Of course, my heart goes out to you, as I am touched by your pain too. Thank you for bringing PAS to the attention of others in the battle against all forms of abuse. You have my blessings and a bit o' sunshine.

    • JJNW profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      It seems to me that any parent who would act in such a cruel way has got to have other issues of control and manipulation. So sad. We do need to shed light all all types of family violence. It is way more widespread than many people think.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The major victim of a divorce case is none other than the child itself.The couple get into the scene of divorce without paying any heed to the child.If the mother wants money she can get from her spouse and love from her child,but what about the child.He doesn't want any money and cannot get all the love from one parent.Both the sides are equally important,.

    • beaworkathomemom profile image


      7 years ago

      I think that a divorce is already a very tough time for any child to go through. PAS will just make everything more difficult. Thanks for sharing this.

    • dahlia369 profile image


      7 years ago

      Not an easy time for anyone involved...

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this information. I think it's a very important topic that needs to be shared.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 

      7 years ago

      I liked what you've done here and your topic is very relevant. Thank you for sharing this information.

    • sousababy profile image


      7 years ago

      Ohh, I just realized that this needs to be included in the section of my 'Living Articles on Squidoo' lens in the devoted section titled: Teen years, what every parent should know. Hope it helps!

    • sousababy profile image


      7 years ago

      Deserves a google +1 and I shall be featuring you and your work on my Part IV of Squidoo people with a good heart (hope to be completed today or tomorrow). Take good care,


    • sousababy profile image


      7 years ago

      This is just soooo important in our society. Whether divorced or not, this can occur in children. Sometimes witnessing spousal abuse has the same effect when parents also 'stay together' when really divorce would be healthier for all involved. Good to see a purple star and LotD on this one.

      My sister is going through divorce and I have tried to tell her to love your child more than you hate your ex. Do NOT speak badly about your ex - for your son will internalize that - and fear he is also unlovable. Children derive half of their esteem from each parent, so do not poison them by speaking badly about your ex (even if it is well-deserved). For the child, they internalize that hate and blame themselves . . I know that isn't fair, but this is what children 'feel inside.' Somehow kids feel responsible for their parents' actions, even though they are not.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I believe the fear of a parent being alienated from their children happens prior to a separation/divorce. People don't just wake up one day and separate. There is always going to be one parent who views themselves as the better parent in these situations. Eventually the parent who would never even think to alienate their children from a parent has no choice but to concede so the children aren't hurt. When that occurs I guess you HAVE to mourn like their is a death. It's a death of a relationship between parent/child for a time being anyway. The bond will ALWAYS be there though, so don't ever give up.

      Either way the children will be hurt because they no longer have both parents. There isn't a parent who can save their children from all heartache and pain in life.

      You will always question whether you should have tried harder in the marriage, or stayed in it to avoid all of this. But trust me staying only hurts the children even more.

      However you will risk alienation if you play the he/she said/or did game. Choose your battles wisely. Sometimes it's best not to defend against every allegation which really is only an opinion of the ex. Simply say "Your Honor, I disagree w/ ex, we are in a custody dispute, I can not defend myself when Mr./Mrs. has not provided evidence to the court for such an opinion. I am relying on this court to discern what is fact, what concerns Mr/Ms. may not be of concern to this court." Defending yourself against allegation which can not be proven shows the court you misplace your energy and become emotional. Which is exactly what the ex wants to show the court. Choose what you will defend wisely. If ex makes a claim that you are a bad housekeeper. That's an opinion. Ensure that the claims are labeled irrelevant to the court & irrelevant to the best interest of the kids. Don't come back waving arms saying "Well, maybe if he/she didn't....." That makes you look like you're actions are contingent upon what the ex does/doesn't do, this really is not in the kids best interest. If you just stick with the facts and one of those facts is your ex IS the mother/father to your children and you want what is in the kids best interest you have a better chance of the ex accomplishing alienating you. If the ex is out to destroy you it will be easier to prove this is what they are doing. Always welcome a loving relationship between your ex if you know they are a good parent!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice lens..........

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I'll bet this article will help many people who find themselves in this situation.

    • perrybenard profile image


      7 years ago

      what an informative lens this is my first time hearing about this issue it is very sad thank you for sharing

    • SimilarSam profile image

      Samuel Franklin 

      7 years ago

      A very interesting read.

    • kevingomes13 lm profile image

      kevingomes13 lm 

      7 years ago

      teriffic lense

    • TTMall profile image


      7 years ago

      Loved Your Lens! You really put a lot of good information in it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for a great lens! Some food for thought isn't it?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow. This goes deep. I bought The Ties That Bind - however, I had to buy in the Uk (Amazon Kindle books can only be bought in the same country, come on Squidoo - Uk amazon bits too?)

      In those 17 strategies mentioned by Dr Baker - does she include the "unfulfillable promise" - where a parent promises something on behalf or in the name of the other, which the doesn't know about and can not fulfil of course. This makes the child feel that the other parent keeps breaking promises to them.

      The four words depressed, panicky, needy and paranoid resonate. This is a really important article - something people should be talking about.

      Blessed, and featured on my blessed lenses 2012 page.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      7 years ago

      both divorced parents should not alienate the children. if they do, they damage them mentally and emotionally.

    • theeoriginal1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this lens. This issue is poisonous and long overdue for being publicized. These parents who do this have no shame or morals.

    • tricomanagement profile image


      7 years ago

      great lens - congratulations on lens of the day! The problem seems to me that the offending parent is rarely if ever 'caught' and the children and other parent is left with broken hearts and relationships for a lifetime

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on lens of the day! Well deserved - I learned so much.

    • NYtoSCimjustme profile image


      7 years ago

      Never knew there was an actual name for this behavior - I am sure just about every 'angry' divorce situation has some elements of it, due to the nature of the breakup each parent looks to vindicate themselves from any wrongdoing by pointing the finger at the other. It's pathetic when a grown up has to stoop to this level to make themselves feel that they are in the right and the other parent was in the wrong. The kids are the biggest losers in the entire situation. Thanks for the enlightenment and the in depth look at a much more common issue than you would like to think exists.

    • LoKackl profile image


      7 years ago

      @SteveKaye: you nailed it!

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 

      7 years ago

      I am a nursery school teacher and there are so many parents in my class who do this. I too didn't know it had a name. Sometimes, the dominant parent will even go to the extreme of trying to receive support from us, the teachers. It's so sad when this happens.

    • kathysart profile image


      7 years ago

      It is very painful no doubt about it. Thanks for the sensitivity. Angel blessed.

    • hotbrain profile image


      7 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      I have heard of divorced parents doing this, but never knew that it was called Parent Alienation Syndrome. Helpful to know! Congrats on lens of the day too!

    • maurissam profile image

      Chocolate Pickney 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      I was not aware of PAS until now when I read this. Thank you for sharing this very informative lens. Great job

    • Jillynn profile image


      7 years ago

      This is an amazing lens that captures the obvious and subtle ways some parents alienate the other parent. Well done.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent and informative lens. As one who has experienced this unfortunate scenario - it is truly insidious. Being erased from your children's lives and having every attempt to rebuild what was always a loving relationship is a battle against a powerful and unknown force which is as omnipotent and controlling as a puppet master. There is a point at which you have to surrender and hope for a realization to come naturally. As the trusting non-custodial, non-court ordered child visitation parent, my standing and inclusion in my children's lives has been a textbook case of perpetual erosion of my ties, connections, bonds, relationship or for my children's innate desire to have any connection with their father. Even the time that I would finally have (a couple hours) with my children ended up being interrupted by texts and phone calls from their mother. It boils down to control, allegiance and desire to have an exclusive bond with the children. As the outsider, you have no clue how things are being twisted or manipulated against you, while being told that (the custodial parent) is doing everything they can to facilitate the children's inclusion of you in their lives, only to find yourself questioning why your children don't call or make any attempt whatsoever to interact or engage in a natural way. This particular syndrome is real and unfortunately not easily thwarted. The hope I have is that common sense and eventual separation from the custodial parent will allow for clarity to set in and a realization may come which allows for the destructive and carefully constructed chasm to be spanned with love. A love that was always there - just deflected, clouded and shrouded by the PAS methodology of manipulation, control and self absorption.

    • LooLooBird profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, very comprehensive lens, pulled me right in! Thanks for providing so many other resources as well. Now that I know what PAS is, I realize that one of my best friends growing up went through this. Her mother was her best friend, by senior year in High School, she was kicking her car, spitting at her, screaming, "I HATE YOU!" -And I could hardly believe the transformation I witnessed...

    • Richard-H profile image


      7 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      An important issue that needed to be spotlighted. Informatively and sensitively handled :)

    • profile image

      faye durham 

      7 years ago

      Very informative and interesting lens. Thanks for raising awareness of this issue and excellent suggestions for how to cope with PA.

    • KathyBatesel profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nice lens. This is a heartbreaking topic for me. My ex-husband was targeted by HIS ex-wife to an extreme degree. This isn't about children who genuinely have poor relationships with another parent. It's about parents who manipulate, deceive, bribe, and punish their children constantly in order to make them hate a parent they otherwise would have a good relationship with. Our case involved kidnappings, not seeing his child after travelling across several states for court-ordered visitations, and so many other cruel tactics. He was able to reconnect with his daughter because he never gave up and I didn't either, but his children will probably always have skewed perspectives because of everything that happened. We spent over $25k with eight attorneys in five states. Just crazy!

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 

      7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      This type of "parenting" is one of the ultimate horrors of divorce. And the biggest losers in this are the most innocent, the children. Excellent and informative article on a very unfortunate and troubling aspect of divorce and parenting.

    • Karli McClane profile image

      Karli McClane 

      7 years ago from USA

      Excellent lens. I watched this (PAS) happen to someone very close to me. Don't even get me started on Dr. Phil - what a quack.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm so glad my divorced parents didn't and don't do this to me. My father does it a little, but my mother doesn't and never has, which is important because she got custody.

    • Scotties-Rock profile image


      7 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Extremely informative and interesting lens. Being a child of divorced parents and hearing my father speak so poorly of my mother was very hurtful. When I got older I flat out told him to stop. Which he did. My advice to any parent in a divorced situation is never say anything negative about the other parent.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A well researched lens on a sensitive topic, handled really well in this lens. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My parents never divorced, but my mother poisoned us against our father. We discovered the truth after our mother's death, many years after our father's passing. I was angry at her for a long time, now I just wish I could apologize to my dad.

      Liked & Blessed by a Squid Angel!

    • AndrewBiron profile image


      7 years ago

      Absolutely great lense. Very informative. Thank you for the post.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow! This is my first comment on a "lens" and I've never read one before (just made my own today) but this is very cool and informative and not to mention a great lens to model what mine should be like!

      I never knew about PAS (at least as a term) before I clicked on this but I do know and especially now that it's a very real issue. I've been fortunate enough to not know anyone in my "circle" that have been divorced or have had to face this issue. I will try to be more courteous and aware of such a thing now that I've read your lens.

      P.S. I like the Keith Harring photo at the top!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This the sad reality of divorce :( Hearbreaking

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a very important lens. Hopefully, A lot of people get to see and read this lens. Excellent work.

    • joykennel profile image


      7 years ago

      Terrific job on the lens and this sobering issue--thanks for writing. This is so worth sharing!!

    • curious0927 profile image


      7 years ago

      Powerful stuff, got me thinking. Glad I left the man who alienated his children and his wife. It was a downward spiral that forced me to take my children and run. I had to save them, no one helped but my friend who is a Lawyer by treating the Divorce and my X with extreme caution to save the children. Someone ought to take a stand and help the women or men that have to save the kids....alone....due to a toxic home environment.

    • JesPiddlin profile image


      7 years ago

      So many of us are taught to take sides. It always helps one feel better, if there is someone else who understands your side. I suppose maybe parents expect their children to take their sides, too. It's sad, when they push it, though.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a very complex and difficult issue. Most versions of parent alienation occur within the privacy of the home. Thus no one knows that it's happening. In fact, even the adults and children involved don't realize that it's happening. Perhaps more publicity might help. On the other hand, waring parents care little about the damage that they're causing. Thank you for making this lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very powerful to hear the adult children talk of the effect PAS had on them.Well done!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It certainly is sad that parents might use their own children to get at each other. Very sad indeed. I think it is a choice, however poor a choice, and not some kind of mental illness, which lets the person off the hood way too easily (but I can't help it, I'm sick).

    • LynetteBell profile image


      7 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      While I was very aware that PAS existed I didn't know it had been given a name. Thank you for your lens and congratulations on LOTD!

    • JesPiddlin profile image


      7 years ago

      I also think the name should not include the word "syndrome" which indicates it is a disease. It is not a disease. It is a situation which could often be avoided with the proper help and training. Legal COUNSEL should include COUNSELLING toward the goal of a happier end for all parties involved. (Sometimes, that even means keeping a marriage/family together!!) How many COUNSELLORS take their position *that* seriously? If they did, a lot of folks might not be so quick to complain about how much they cost! (I did know one who took it this seriously, which is why it is such a visible issue to me.)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is an excellent lens on a difficult subject. I wonder though about defining simply adversarial and belligerent behaviour as a syndrome. This smacks of reification to me, the sort of things that generates the responses 'oh I didn't realise we could have that', which in turn creates a PAS industry that is self fuelling.

      As an academic I know only too well how sociological and social psychological classifications of observed behaviours that are merely intended as helpful explanations suddenly become something more than intended.

      How about PBB 'parental bad behaviour' or DAR 'divorce aggression recalcitrance'. Could well end up being a harvest for the legal industry who clock up hours determining wether the situation fits the definition of PAS.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      7 years ago

      What a powerful and heartbreaking page on PAS, I admit I was unfamiliar with this horrid hate crime. Thank you for your bravery of exposing it and yourself. I hope this will help your healing in some small way. congratulations on the purple star and LOTD. this is the kind of work that truly deserves it. blessed.


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