Thursday, 17 May 2012
Parental Alientation Symptons #3, #4, #5
Dr. Richard Gardner, MD, introduced the term Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and identified eight symptoms of PAS. Please refer to previous blog entries for Symptom #1 and #2.
Symptom #3 -- LACK OF AMBIVALENCE TOWARDS BOTH THE ALIENATING AND TARGET PARENTS
Children with a healthy relationship with their parents learn that everyone has both positive and negative traits, but a child affected by PAS sees one parent as ‘only good’ and the other parent as ‘only bad’.
Even when the child is shown evidence of the good times that he or she may have experienced with the ‘bad’ or Target parent, the child claims to have been pretending to enjoy him or herself only to avoid upsetting the Target parent.
Yet, surprisingly, when the PAS child is alone with Target parent, they often express genuine love and affection, but later feel that they were doing something wrong. Such a fragmented child may go so far as to ask one parent not to disclose to the other parent that child was affectionate or said “I love you”.
Symptom #4 -- THE “INDEPENDENT- THINKER” PHENOMENON
As previously discussed, PAS does not appear to spontaneously germinate with the child, but rather develops as an extension of one parent’s struggle to cope with the relationship breakdown. However, the Independent Thinker Phenomenon turns the tables and suggests the opposite: the Alienating parent claims that PAS child is alienating the other parent without influence.
As the PAS child comes to adopt the idea of targeting one parent and showing an exclusive preference for one parent, the child comes defends that the idea is, in fact, his or her own.
As a further twist, the Alienating parent can then claim that the child is genuinely encouraged to maintain a relationship with the Target parent, but the child refuses.
Symptom #5 -- REFLEXIVE SUPPORT OF THE ALIENATING PARENT IN THE PARENTAL CONFLICT
Expectedly, children of divorce feel torn between both parents, and feel that they must make a choice between one parent over the other. Typically, children ally themselves with the parent providing care at the current time, but PAS children support one parent exclusively no matter the circumstances.