To explain briefly, Parental Alienation Syndrome is a term from Richard Gardner, a child psychiatrist back in 1985. He introduced P.A.S. in his paper titled “Recent Trends in Divorce and Custody Litigation” and described the disorder as a condition that happens to kids when they are involved in child custody cases. The child will denigrate one or both parents for no sufficient or logical reason. According to Bonnie Zucker, PsyD, “Protecting children from sadness, anxiety and stress is a natural instinct for many adults.”
Anyway, if you haven’t read Parental Alienation Syndrome: The End Of A Marriage And A Parent-Teen Relationship, then please do. This article is a “sequel” to that post, and here the topic is all about resolutions, answers, and how to deal with your child when he is in a state of parental alienation.
How To Deal With Parental Alienation Syndrome
Parental Alienation is one tough situation but over the years, ways to deal with it have been formulated. If you’re a parent, read this part.
- Be calm and control your emotions. The whole situation sucks, I know. You are fighting with your spouse, and there’s a “war” going on with you both. Your husband or wife wants to get your child, and it seems that the teen wants to be there. Are you going to fight it? You can, but let’s not get overboard with the anger issues.
- Note down all events that happen in detail. If your teen is nasty towards you, and you suspect parental alienation, then you have to calm down. Try to understand your child, but if he or she goes overboard, you need to prompt the behavior without having to raise your voice.
- Follow what is agreed upon with regard to the child between you and your spouse. It’s hard, I know. You may be separated from your spouse, but you’re still married until the divorce is final. Or maybe you are already divorced and he or she has a special someone already. Anyway, follow your agreement until the courts will provide law in your case.
- When it’s your turn to spend time with your teen, you must always focus on the positive side. No badmouthing your spouse, and bite your tongue as much as you can control it.
- Don’t talk about the court proceedings to your teen when you’re together. He or she doesn’t have to know about all the tiny details.
- Be open, but never argue with your child. I understand that you are hurting. If you must know, your kid is affected too. And since you’re the parent here, you have to work doubly hard for you and your child to work it through. Remember that according to Stephanie Dowd, PsyD, “They need help to get better, but first they have to want that help.”
- Work on how to improve your parenting skills further. If you are a good parent, then chances are that your child will try to be a better person too.
- Follow the guidelines ordered by the court to avoid further inconvenience with the law and your ex-spouse.
- If your ex-partner is projecting alienating behavior towards you, don’t get involved. Resist the temptation of meaningless spats. Never play fire with fire because you’ll get burned. Leave your ex-spouse on the craziness as long as you mind your own business.
- Inform the court if your ex-partner didn’t abide by the guidelines stipulated by the court regarding the child custody or other related matters. It may be your chance to get full custody of your kid.
- Seek a counselor’s help on your child especially if he or she is having a hard time coping with the situation. This way of dealing with the syndrome is essential.
- At all times, support your teen. Reassure him or her that you will always be there to love and care no matter what happens.
Parental alienation can be managed. It should be handled not only for your sake but most importantly for your teen. The whole situation is not ideal at all, but there’s nothing else to do. You just have to deal with this problem head-on for the benefit of your teen, most of all.
Did you know that as simple as trying to improve your child’s posture can already do her good? Heather Stevenson, PsyD said “Stand and walk with an upright body posture, head tilted slightly up, and shoulders down and rolled back.”