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Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Part 1
When Children Reject Parents © Martyn Carruthers

Online Life Coaching & Counseling for Parental Alienation

We help people manage the consequences of parent alienation,
emotional incest and other forms of abuse.

Parent Alienation 1: Children Before Adolescence

Parent Alienation 2: After Adolescence . Covert Emotional Incest

When Children Hate Parents

Although it is a crime to 'incite hatred on the basis of color, religion, or creed', similar actions are common in dysfunctional families. Adults may manipulate children to hate other family members. Parents who incite children to distrust or hate the other parent are guilty of Parental Alienation or PAS - sometimes called emotional blackmail. Some adults abuse their own children for financial or egotistic advantages.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is often accompanied by covert emotional incest, in which a parent or guardian abuses a child as a substitute
for a partner. The resulting limiting beliefs and negative emotions may be difficult to rationalize and change without experienced help.

Some consequences of PAS can last for decades. Adults who were abused as children may experience negative emotions and limiting beliefs from this damage, although they can rarely identify the cause. Other consequences of PAS are mentor damage, chronic conflict and identification with a victim.

Parents who deliberately hurt children may feel diminished relationships with their families, with humanity and with their God. (This diminished sense of life seems to be equally true for agnostics and atheists.)

We help people prevent partnership breakdown and resolve its consequences. Although both fathers and mothers play this terrible game, there are no winners.

My Child Hates Me! / I Hate My Father!

When a child rejects a parent, there are heavy consequences. The family, community and courts often respond emotionally to support the mother, regardless of any manipulation or distortions used to incite the child's rejection of the father or to make the other partner seem somehow bad.

This can be a factor when children do not communicate with their parents. In extreme cases, child victims of parental alienation may hate, abuse or even be violent to their parents, especially during their teenage years. (Following parental alienation, adolescence may be delayed and exceptionally turbulent).

Who is Hurt?

Children are intelligent and sensitive to family relationships. Many adults may consider young children to be stupid and naive. Children may be unable to communicate their observations using adult language, and they be may ignored or ridiculed if they try. Children often communicate with symptoms.

  • Children may be manipulated by parents who want to hurt each other
  • Children may be simultaneously urged by both parents to reject the other
  • Children may be guided by family, community or cult to reject their parents
  • Adopted children may be encouraged to dislike or reject their birth parents

Children who reject a parent, the rejected parents and the rejecting parents will show predictable, often severe emotional consequences, especially anger, guilt and sadness. The suffering associated with these consequences is often ignored.

Parent alienation often includes covert emotional incest, in which a parent loves an opposite sex child in unhealthy ways. If so, later in life, such emotionally enmeshed children often suffer predictable partnership problems and sexual issues.

Parents who Damage Children

Parental alienation predicts common behavior patterns that we see during marriage counseling, family therapy and couple counseling. However, most families, communities and courts currently support biological mothers and deny custody to biological or substitute fathers, regardless of facts.

In many countries, custodial parents are legally obligated to avoid disrupting a child's relationship with the other parent. Even so, many custodial parents break the law by trying to destroy their children’s relationships with the other parents. They may “forget” or disrupt visits, or move homes without a forwarding address.

Parental Alienation Syndrome

Either parent can initiate a sequence of events leading to PAS.

  1. A parent of pre-adolescent children rejects his or her partner
  2. A child shows loyalty to that parent by rejecting their other parent
  3. A custodial parent tells a child what is true, and then says, "Tell the truth"
  4. Children support their custodial parent by rejecting the alienated parent
  5. A custodial parent may implant false memories about the rejected parent
  6. Following emotional maturity, PAS children often reject their custodial parents and bond to their alienated parents

Sequence of Parental Alienation

We have heard this sad story too many times ...

  1. The parents experience a conflict that they cannot manage or ignore
  2. Instead of getting help, they become emotionally entangled in their crisis
  3. One or both parents neglect the consequences of their crisis on their children
  4. One parent rejects the other's qualities (behavior, beliefs and / or values)
  5. That parent rejects those qualities in the child (e.g. stop acting like your father!)
  6. The child denies or hides qualities similar to those of the alienated parent
  7. The child identifies with the rejecting parent, who often acts like a victim
  8. The child rejects the alienated parent - privately or publicly

The toxicity of PAS is not only in the symptoms but also in the solutions chosen by courts. Sometimes, if PAS is diagnosed, the alienated parent is given custody of a child, against the child's own desire and will.

Part 2: After Adolescence

Immature Parents and Child Abuse

Children suffer when an immature parent tries to control or punish the other parent. Immature parents often express their depression, anger, and aggression by withholding love from their children. (Such children often repeat these behaviors as adults).

Alienating a child's parent has similar consequences to child abuse.

We help people to change the consequences of:

  • covert emotional incest
  • installed false memories
  • physical, emotional or sexual abuse
  • abusing children as dependent hostages
  • betrayal or abandonment of one partner by the other
  • court ordered suffering - child custody by a hated parent

Contact us to manage negative emotions and solve relationship problems.

Online Family Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 2004-2018
All rights reserved.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email