Home > Parents > You Might Be An Alienated Parent If…

You Might Be An Alienated Parent If…

You Might Be An Alienated Parent If…  (by Monika)

You might be an alienated parent if your four-year old reports, “dad says he gives your new marriage two years—and I agree with him.”

You might be an alienated parent if your seven-year old reports, “ I know the law; just wait till I am of age; I will tell the judge where I want to live.  We are asking for full custody.”

You might be an alienated parent if your child removes household items such as DVDs, electronics, etc. Then, when confronting the child, he / she reports “I feel sorry for dad (or mom) they live alone and cannot make ends meet.” “We pawned the items (mom/dad) get over it.”

You might be an alienated parent if your five-year old reports they no longer have to obey your  rules because “dad ( or mom) says so.” And “we think your rules are dumb.”

You might be a distressed and an alienated parent if your ex-partner refuses to co-parent and constantly belittles you to your child.

You might be a distressed and an alienated parent if your child complains about the meals you cook. But they don’t stop at complaining.  Instead,  they trash dinner. They call the other parent and report that “there is no decent food in the home.”

You might be a distressed and an alienated parent if you kindly ask your ex-spouse to please cease badmouthing. You point out that constant badmouthing is not in the child’s best interest. But, you discover they refuse to stop.

You might be a distressed and an alienated parent if your ex-spouse and his (or her) family do not understand the concept of boundaries. They share adult matters with adolescents and  actually seek your adolescents advice. This is evidenced by your adolescent reporting, “yeah dad (or mom) and I have a good time; we talked about the reason his third girlfriend moved out.” And, “geez, mom (or dad) I sure feel so very sorry for her (or him).”   And, as a consequence, your child is in constant distress. You understand this, but your ex-spouse and family do not;  they have the same  mentality as your adolescent. You wonder if insurance companies are the only ones that catch on, as full brain development does not stop at age 16. Insurance rates drop about age 25.

You might be a distressed and an alienated parent if you tell your eight year old they cannot watch the exorcist movie, rated R.  Your eight year old informs you, “fine, I will watch the movie with (dad or mom) they will let me”…and the parent actually will.

You might be a distressed and an alienated parent if your eight-year old child develops nightmares after watching  movies. You explain to your child that they should not watch such movies while at the other parent’s home. The child insists that “they are more mature than you understand.”  Being the good co-parent you are, you call up your ex-spouse and discuss (or your try to discuss) that it is not  a good idea to let the child view R rated movies. You are told, “ I am with them, what’s the harm; you are too strict.” Besides, “it’s my home when the child is with me.”  And… you are not going to tell me how to raise my (son or daughter).

You might be a distressed and an alienated parent if you report these events but are informed, “ emotional abuse is hard to prove.” The next question, “is your child physically abused?” No you reply. Well, says the helper, “go read a good parenting book.” That day you read an advocacy group’s stance that your issue–the emotional abuse of your child, is not a “real” problem because children would not reject a parent without a good reason. Coercive control only works with grown adults, not susceptible children, right?

You might be distressed, disgruntled, and an alienated parent if you attempt to seek help for your child.  Some say parental alienation is not a “real problem” that it is nothing more than a “normal reaction to a divorce.” Your advice is to “ take the high-road, most children will outgrow alienation.”

You might be a distressed, disgruntled, and an alienated parent if you end back up in  court to enforce orders that are not followed. Your co-parent refuses to adhere to any parenting plan or other mandates—he or she is above the law. They refuse to return the children on time or assist with paying for school lunches.  You are informed, “you just need to get along with your co-parent.” You try to explain that you have bent over backwards in trying to work with your ex-spouse. You may start to think that they have “Heard one case, so they have heard them all.”

You might be a distressed, disgruntled, down-trodden and an alienated parent if the experience of parental alienation has occurred for over 15 years. In fact, it went on for so long, one or more of your children no longer will speak with you. You scratch your head wondering if the brand new car (dad or mom) said they could have if they tore up your property and moved in with them, had anything to do with your child’s change of heart.   

You might be a distressed, disgruntled, down-trodden and an alienated parent if you attempt to explain the situation but others scratch their head, suspiciously question you, and reply “well… some kids are resilient to badmouthing and brainwashing—wonder why your child is not?”

You might be a distressed, disgruntled, down-trodden and an alienated parent if you did the best you could.  No you were not perfect. But,  you were at least an average parent. You know your day-to-day routine would be okay if you were still married.  But once the campaign of denigration started, you had to become almost a perfect parent. You grew a little weary.


Parental Alienation Awareness Organization

Dr. Richard Warshak

Categories: Parents
  1. March 15, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    This is spot on! Feels alternately wonderful and dismal to have it identified so perfectly. I am so grateful to Dr. Warshak for his continued work for families like mine.

  2. March 15, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    I agree with Chelsey – This description of Alienation is dead on. It continues to amaze me how people can see this happening to a child and not realize the damage being done to that child. Are people are so short sighted & myopic that they can not see the long term emotional damage to the child?

    I just recently read “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce – the 25 year landmark study” the damage being done to our children because of divorce in general is overwhelming and she doesn’t even deal with children that are alienated from a parent. One can only image that the damage is compounded because of the alienation. God help our children.

  3. March 15, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Thank you Barb–the description is dead on. The problem, unfortunately, is both complex and simplistic. It is simplistic in the fact that if there were not an alienating parent, there would not be an alienated child. It is complex because the methods of intervention are multifaceted (in argument). I also believe it is up to God.

    Many suggest courts are the answer. Certainly, upholding court orders is a start. And, having well-informed judges would help cease this form of abuse. On the other hand, it seems parental alienation does not end when parents leave a court. For many, once the divorce is final, parental alienation is just beginning. It is the beginning of the end for many estranged relationships.

    The rejected parent is left with the task of “pointing out” that the favored parent refuses to follow parenting plans, decree etc. Consequently, funding may run out for some rejected parents. Ironically, when the favored parent seeks help, to enforce orders that should be followed to begin with, they are deemed as “high conflict.” Then, the rejected parent (already victimized enough) are ordered into classes or some other less than helpful suggestion on how to “get along” with someone that refuses to co-parent. If the situation were not disheartening, it would almost be comical.

    Others deem counseling is the answer. Many frequently recommend the entire family participate. I know many rejected parents scoff at this idealistic notion as they know the favored parent will not voluntarily attend. Even when the favored parent is mandated, they still will not attend “alienating parents did not respect the court orders…” Dr. Amy Baker (2010). And, Dr. Baker offers just one of the many studies that indicate the obvious: favored parents do not care. I certainly think counseling is a must. It will help sort out black and white thinking—that is, to help the child see that the rejected parent may not be all that bad. But, it will only be helpful if the professional has a thorough understanding about the nuances of parental alienation.

    Thank you for the work that you do!




    • grandma
      November 10, 2011 at 7:18 AM

      i believe any parent unwilling to go through mediation and monitoring of progress should have serious consequences for actions that are unfit for the children they should loose these kids and have supervised visits only. It is a sad world. The courts are a big part of the problem as they manifest resentment and vindictiveness in some ill parents who will bad mouth the other. I have 2 grandkids 15 & 13 going through this and i believe the only thing that is going to help is faith and lots of it and believing in the right thing. I am going to try this year to find out how to change laws. Please comment if you agree with the first statement here and what your thoughts on pros and cons

      • November 10, 2011 at 10:12 PM

        There should be serious consequences, but the reality is there is not follow through. Parents that alienate refuse to follow court orders and parenting plans–they get away with it because they can. supervised visitation for constant badmouthing is ideal, but once the parent shows good behavior, he or she may go back to badmouthing in the privacy of his or her own home. Mediation is normally not suited for cases of parental alienation. I agree too that courts are a large part of the problem, but they are not the only problem. Parental alienation continues outside of the courtroom, in the privacy of an alienating parents home. They simply do not care about court orders. They believe they are above the law. The only thing on his or her mind, is destroying the other parents bond with the child. If you have not, you may want to visit the parental alienation awareness organization and visit http://www.warshak.com

      • November 10, 2011 at 10:16 PM

        There are ample studies indicating that alienating parents refuse to stop this harmful behavior. As just one example, a finding from Dr. Amy Baker:
        “Even when targeted parents had the resources to pursue legal action and were fortunate enough to prevail […] they were not able to take advantage of the rights afforded to them by the courts because alienating parents did not respect the court orders, the attorneys were not interested in or able to force the alienating parent into compliance. Apparently, once the alienating parent determined that this was the case, noncompliance became the order of the day, so to speak” –Dr. Amy J.L. Baker

      • Marie
        August 10, 2014 at 9:27 AM

        Agreed !!!! Going thru this need prayers please!!!

  4. Cindy
    March 17, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Monika, Thanks for writing this for me. Eighteen years for a child to be robbed of their life, basically. A purpose for parenting is to help children develop who they are, while setting appropriate boundaries along the way. As they learn and grow, we expand those boundaries, praying that they make wise chooices. We are there for them when they do not, for no one is perfect, and we “get this” and welcome the interaction. BUT when the child lives the life you write about, they are NOT growing up to be their own person. They are groomed by the alienating parent (and family member) who love to see the pain!

    • grandma
      November 10, 2011 at 7:19 AM

      I agree wholeheartedly.

    • Marie
      August 10, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      Yes ,,!! Not good !! Teenage son is suffering because of juvenile hatred towards me( mother) my son had A B honor roll , sports scholarships on the way ,, but brainwashing and bad mouth blaming .. Has caused serious issues!!! God moves mountains thru prayer and Faith !! We will overcome this!!! My redemption is nigh ( My Son”s Especially!!) AMEN!!!!

  5. Bonnie Norris
    March 18, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    This is so true and dead on, it made me cry. It was exactly what I have experienced for ten years now. My children no longer speak to me or want anything to do with me and he is the shiny penny and always right. He can do no wrong in their eyes.

    • March 22, 2011 at 12:29 AM

      Bonnie: I am sorry to read about your pain. I hold on to hope that parental alienation will be recognized in the United States (other countries as well) as mental abuse. Being a rejected parent is draining. One social worker, Leona Kopetski, noted, “One confusing aspect of the dynamics of parent alienation cases is that the alienated parent sometimes has more obvious symptoms of psychological distress, such as depression or anxiety, than the alienating parent. When psychological health is defined as the absence of internal distress or conflict, this factor makes it appear that the alienating parent is the healthier parent. However, this appearance is misleading.”

      She is correct: it is misleading. Obviously, alienated (or rejected parents) are distressed—they are living with the fact that their child is being emotionally abused. Many also are working with (or trying to work with) a “co-parent” (ex-spouse) who believes they are above the law. They also think they deserve the sole admiration of your child. Who would not be distressed? What parent would not cry? There are many good resources. I hope you can find a good support group. Many have formed all across the U.S. others, have created their own.

    • chris
      July 27, 2011 at 1:06 PM

      I am currently going through the same situation. It is heart breaking for me and very frustrating. I thought/feel that I am the only one going through this and don’t understand why this is happening to me. I just started to research “Alientation” and can’t believe that there are others like me.

    • Trish B
      April 19, 2012 at 12:59 AM

      Hi Bonnie, you are not alone, I too have been going through this for 10 years, it started in Florida but now I live in North Carolina – if anyone is in the Raleigh/Durham/Greensboro area and have experienced being the alienated parent and wish to have an annual event for parental alienation in this area in 2013 please contact me at cameo0304@hotmail.com. I would love to start a support group for anyone else who is interested. Love to all alienated parents, Trish

  6. les
    April 17, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    am tired of being the bad guy. being told “your mean”, or “I’ve beent there since the day they were born”, or “they dont want to see you cause they are tired of your games”. im just a dad. i have 3 extra kids. by two different women, who will not let me see the kids. i love the children dearly. at first, everything was okay, got to see the kids, went places, saw movies, camping,,,,you know, dad stuff. then one day out of the blue,” the kids dont want to see you, they hate you, your mean”. not once have i yelled at them, or hurt them in any way. was always forthright in my dealings with the moms. given everything i could to raise the children. and now, after four years of battling to even talk to the kids on the phone, i am beginning to have serious doubts of my own self. i have been to counciling, and find “i’m ok” but, still doubts. understand i have two older kids, whom have turned out very well. and we have a great relationship. the moms yell at me in front of the children while on the phone, drag them into the so called battle. they call me a liar, or other names in front of the kids. what do i do. according to both moms, the children have made the decision. how is this possible, when the kids are so young. im at wits end. and how was i blessed with two such wonderful, i say this sarcastically, wonderful women. i miss my kids , and i hope they miss me

  7. April 18, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Hi Les:

    Hang in there. I vividly remember questioning whether or now I could have actually done the crazy things I was accused of doing. I wondered if I started sleep-walking, blacking out, that sort of thing. I knew on an intellectual level that I wasn’t the person they accused me of being, I just couldn’t understand how people I thought I knew, and who knew me, could make up outrageous accusations and smear me the way they did.

    I quickly realized that parental alienation was not about what kind of parent or spouse I had been. Parental alienation is all about the alienating parent’s unresolved emotional issues and the need to have the child align with him/her. The result is a very unhealthy, codependent relationship between the alienating parent and child that leaves little, if any, room for the targeted parent.

    And trust me, your kids miss you. They’ve just learned that anger is a wonderful coping mechanism. If they can find reasons (even reasons that aren’t true) to stay angry at you they won’t miss you as much. But your children are in an emotional bind. They are just doing what they have to do to survive. Please don’t give up on them. While your efforts may not be rewarded today, one day they’ll be able to reach out to you and your attempts to stay in their lives will help them reconnect.

    So much more I could say. Please check out our website at http://www.afamilysheartbreak.com. I’m confident the resources and information will help you.


    mike jeffries
    Author, A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation

  8. Elli
    June 2, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    I need guidance desperately. I filed for divorce after a 30 year marriage. I have never discussed my grounds with my adult children. My ex pushed for a court order to seal the divorce records. My ex has convinced my children that I have mental issues & that I am a danger to my grandchild. I had never heard of PAS until this week. What material is available to help me, as a parent of adult children DURING the divorce, to begin the groundwork to get my children back one day. All the material I have seen thus far relates to younger children. I now know my ex had planned to move on with his life 13 years ago & has slowly been alienating me from my children beginning in their turbulent teen years. I have experienced abuse of all kinds during my divorce among other issues. I slowly lost who I was. He is a religious “leader” and His word was always final. I feel like a total failure to my children. I cannot tell them why I divorced their narcissistic father. It would destroy them and as a mother I love them too much to do that. He also supports them financially. He has severe issues with control and I only learned recently he was also abused as a child by his parents. Please advise in any way. I have reclaimed my life and I want to do the right thing in helping my children to heal, with or without me in their lives. Thanks.

    • June 3, 2011 at 10:00 PM

      Greetings,there are many parents in the same boat. As you noted, you just heard of PAS this week. Many parents are not aware that there is a name to the problem. I am sorry to read about your pain. Sadly, you are not alone. You may want to read Dr.Amy Baker’s book. Dr. Richard Warshak also offers information for adults and lastly, it may help to contact: Dr. Joshua Coleman: http://www.drjoshuacoleman.com/books/when-parents-hurt/

  9. June 6, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Elli — check out our website if you have a second. We’ve information and resources on our Resources page that I’m confident will help — http://www.afamilysheartbreak.com.

    Hang in there…

    • Elli
      July 2, 2011 at 11:09 PM

      Thanks everyone. Will do.

  10. Anya
    June 22, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    Today, I just learned about PAS and found this site. After almost 30 years of verbal and emotional abuse and manipulation, I filed for divorce when I literally woke up to a gun on the nightstand one morning. The kids were 29, 27, and 24. They were very aware of the abuse and how it escalated at the end. The kids collectively said “do what you need to do, don’t be a bitch about it, don’t be a martyr or victim.” I told them that I was filing for divorce, was going ‘underground’ because I didn’t want their father pumping them for information.

    That was three years ago. Since then, their father has accused me of throwing him and the kids away, saying I only kept him around to achieve my professional goals. (At the time, I earned 2x + of his salary.)

    His family members have told me that if he knew I was ever in the area, he would stalk me to inflict bodily harm. They go out of their way to protect me.

    In the past three years, my kids refuse to have any contact with me. The oldest occasionally responds to e-mails and instant messages. The middle ignores me completely. The youngest replies with hateful messages disowning me, my siblings, and my parents.

    His family has tried to tell my kids that their father is mentally unstable and that he is poisoning them against me. The kids shut them down, believing only their father. My kids are all college educated, have all studied psychology, and have known for their entire lives how their father has been, including depression with suicidal ideation, rages of irrational anger, irrational control issues, and external locus of control. The ex even has a social worker who contacted me (at HIS urging) to ask why I filed for divorce! (My response included details and a copy to the social worker’s supervisor.)

    Growing up, I was the Parenting parent, had boundaries, expectations, and goals for the kids. I was their ‘go-to’ parent when they were in trouble (their dad would go into crazy rages), or needed help. They went to their dad when they wanted to do things that I would not have authorized or endorsed (buying multiple vehicles while still in school). Their father would manipulate the household budget to secretly finance their whims.

    Will the kids ever come around and realize their father is a manipulative jerk? Will I ever have a healthy relationship with my kids? Their father makes threats to kill himself, AND he refuses to accept responsibility for his maintenance medications. I really hope something positive happens before their father dies; I know they will blame me if anything happens to him.

    Thanks for listening.


    • July 24, 2011 at 4:19 PM

      I did not know that PAS is present in adult childre. I wish you the very best and am happy that you found a resource that helps. YOU DESERVE IT!

  11. Richard
    June 24, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    I am still in the early stages per say. I tried to prove this in court in the custody battle for my son. Over two years now this has been the fight just to have more and more thrown at me. I went through about a year she would not let me see him until she was forced to by a judge. But yet this same judge did not see that as a problem. I still get to see him but the visits are getting more and more difficult to bare seeing him get so negative to me and my new wife and the two children we have living with us. He turns nine next weekend and I really try to undo what is being done to him. My actions to try and bring him back to reality puts alot of stress on my marriage at times and my daughter wants to know what is going on all the time. But I just can not bring myself to tell her what I am having to deal with internally. This fight is one that I feel alone in as no one around me understands because they are not going through this. I hear all the time, “I feel your pain”. Well do they? I know that one day this fight will be too much to fight and from other stories I read it is not going to end well for my relationship with my son. I tell him how much I love him and miss him every chance I get. But those words are quickly met with the phone being taken away because his mother listens to any phone conversation I have with him. The courts are a losing battle and yet another realm of pain and suffering for me. But it is nice to read these things and know that I am not alone. Does not help the pain any and has me fear for the worse in the future. But Thanks for letting me know I am not alone…..

  12. June 24, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    Richard, No you are not alone. Sadly, you endure what most other target parents have to endure: “until she was forced to by a judge.” Not that you need any study to confirm what you say, but this is exactly what Dr. Amy Baker found. She reported that ” alienating parents will not follow court orders.” They have to be “forced” to obey the rules. The visits for many families get more difficult because the ex-spouse is not a parent; they are a friend. Sometimes out of their own abandonment issues, they spend time belittling the other parent. Some of the stories you read, that did not turn out so well, may be the pleas of target parents, years ago, when PAS was first introduced. Some of these parents sought help soon after Dr. Richard Gardner introduced the concept. And, when these parents made the connection about what was occurring in their family, compared to his findings, some would not take the parents heart-wrenching complaints seriously because they focused on Dr. Gardner. Obviously, he did not “invent” parental alienation; he observed countless families. Besides, the phenomenon was in the literature before he introduced a name to the problem. On a positive note, it is now being considered as a serious problem–as it should be. As you still have contact, even though it is rocky, one of the best videos you can get is Pluto by Dr. Richard Warshak. It is excellent. You can play the video for your child and the message speaks for itself. You may want a support group, such as PAPA. Dr. Richard Warshak’s website is http://www.warshak.com and Dr. Amy Baker has a program too, called I do not want to choose. Keep the door open. Best of luck to you.

  13. July 24, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Wow. My ex husband uses, “The kids don’t WANT to talk to you” to justify his not allowing me to speak to them. Hi new wife and him are on a mission to make sure that the children know only the absolute worst of me and I am not allowed to talk to them and tell them things from my perspective. Of course they don’t want to talk to me! I am being painted as a deadbeat and an absentee Mother. Any advice?

  14. July 24, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Hi Laura, as one resource you may want to get a copy of Divorce Poison by Dr. Richard Warshak, or his video Pluto. Also, visit http://www.afamilysheartbreak.com

  15. joe
    August 16, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    Hi, I have done a ton of research once I discovered from an Attorney that my ten year old son was being alienated from me. I now realize that his Mom has been slowly destroying my relationship since he was age four. I did not catch on until a year ago she accused me of sexual abuse! Then five more false accusations the following year to date. As I read the stories and see the painful pictures on websites of a youbg boy staring out the window alone looking sad. My eyes automatically begin to tear and I become so worried and concerned about the damage being done to my son. Its so frustrating because no matter how desperately I beg officials to understand that I am inocent and the problem is he is being alienated nobody seems to believe me? I sometimes think maybe I am wrong and its not PAS? Then I read another pas article and it becomes clear once again. My sons Mom has followed perfectly all the actions that happen in a PAS situation. I wonder if my son is waiting for me to save him? His Mom has him completely alienated now because she has not allowed my visitation since the last false complaint just before Christmas. Nothing is done about my contempts because she makes up another problem. I finally get to see my son this Wed. but for one hour and supervised! I DID NOTHING TO HARM MY SON. I feel like everyone looks at me as if I am an abuser! This sucks and I am not able to bare the heart ache and pain anymore………………

  16. August 16, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Joe: It is good you have an attorney that understands parental alienation. Your confusion may set in as so many believe where “there is smoke there must be fire.” In other words, a child would not make up allegations or turn against a parent without a good reason, right? Wrong. Children do. They are coerced and threatened (mental abuse). As you said, ” Then I read another pas article and it becomes clear once again.” I hope it becomes clear to all that this is a form of child abuse. You are not alone in your tribulation, ” Its so frustrating because no matter how desperately I beg officials to understand that I am innocent and the problem is he is being alienated nobody seems to believe me.” Education about parental alienation is increasing. There are those that do understand. If you have not, please view resources such as, Dr. Richard Warshak, Dr. Amy Baker, Dr. Bone, and the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization

  17. August 28, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    Hey Joe:

    Sounds like you’ve been to our website. I hope once you got past our book cover you went to the Resources page and took adavantage of the information and resources on the page. I’m sorry you have a need for this information.

    Sadly, false allegations of abuse are standard operating procedure in parental alienation cases. And as you’ve discovered, judges don’t often impose consequences on the alienating parent for violating court orders. Hang in there… it is easy to get beaten down. Just please continue showing your son the unconditional love and consistency that he has come to expect. And above all, don’t respond to the alienating parent’s provocations. That is just what she is looking for.

    There are a number of articles and interviews on our site about surviving parental alienation. Please check them out if you haven’t already at http://www.afamilysheartbreak.com/resources. I’m sure you would find our book helful as well.


    mike jeffries

  18. August 31, 2011 at 6:35 AM

    Hello Everyone, I am inviting all to help or watch my case which I will be presenting to the Judge Oct. 3, 2011 9;30 am Stamford superior Court in CT. I, pro se, will try to show the Judge how my ten year old son has been abused over the years by his Mom who systematically has achieved her goal of alienating him from me his father. The Mom basically outright lied of sexual abuse, abandonment, physical abuse, no food or supervision, drug and alcohol, another physical abuse to her too, and mental problems. All these complaints were within the past 15 months investigated by DCF, Police, Social workers and ALL unfounded with not a drop of evidence! The Mom knows the system and how to manipulate it because the most important thing about the Court Family section…..they beleive all she says!!!!! I have not seen my son since the week before Christmas which was my year to have him. Its so weid though, because when I heard about parent alienation I began researching it, completely. My research began after the first accusation on sexual abuse. It was as if the researchers got the imformation right from my case! It was perfect right down to its current and heart breaking stage of alienation! So please help me win and bring out awareness to this destructive disorder! jimgreenwich@aol.com 2033216556

  19. October 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Wow..it’s really a great post. I enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing this type of post with us.

  20. November 6, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    I wanted to connect with you because I just started my blog 1 month ago. I am a writer and have been involved both as a child and the alienated parent with my own children. Maybe you could take a look at my blog and see what you think and if you have any suggestions for me, I would love to hear them. Thanks for your blog and your time. Take care, Caroline


    • November 10, 2011 at 10:25 PM

      Caroline, I am sorry to read that you are an alienated mother, but I am glad to see you started a blog. As the issue has been ignored too long and solutions are lacking, it comes as no surprise that parents are creating blogs, making videos, contacting legislators etc. Too many, deem the problem as a normal reaction to a divorce, or a made up theory. There is nothing theoretical about a child that has turned against a parent, without justification (with the rejection and hatred sometimes lasting many years—or, even a lifetime). Good luck with you blog!

  21. joe
    November 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Hello everyone,It’s 5 in the morning and I was looking through some pictures of my son and I several years, age 7, ago when he lived nearby. I had pictures of his school activities, field day, Christmas, with his cousins, grandma and Nicklaus, ALL happy times my son and I spent together. I never never harmed him but loved him as he loved me. What happened? He now lives 15 miles away and I have not seen him for ten months because his Mom had successfully alienated him from his Dad with the help of the Court officials, GAL, who never really interviewed me. Thankfully I was not arrested for the seven false accusations the past 15 months. DCF, Social workers, and Police questioning me. All I wanted to say in this comment was I haven’t cried in several days but I just did after looking at my son and I happy together. PAS is real and hurts so bad and leaves a poor child fatherless and he has no idea how he was alienated


    • May 22, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      I am a father who has sptilt up from my abusive partner who has mental health issues, we have three sons whom i adore and have bought up and been there all of their lives , i was her sole carer but her mental health issues just got to much for me to cope with. It was the most difficult decision of my life to leave the family home after being advised to do so. As my children were born pre dec 2003 and we were not married i have no perental responsibility, my ex partner has been alienating me from our children and telling the children lies about me, which is turning our children against me, but all i can do is let her carry on abusing the children in this way, using them as porns in her sick game, the law needs to be changed to allow fathers equal rights over their children, all i have done is to love and protect our children but the law is allowing a mother with mental health issues to abuse her maternal rights.

  22. parentalalienationsupportnj
    November 18, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    I completely understand this author’s point of view. It is a sad situation, yet one that occurs too often. I also have a blog, with a very similar post, indicating that Parental Alienation could be…gasp…REAL! Great article and a Great blog!


  23. Parent-PAS-is-an-excuse
    December 21, 2011 at 3:52 AM

    The problem with PAS is that there are people who really do have to deal with PAS and those who use it as an excuse for their short comings. That is the reason why the courts don’t recognize it…..it is to hard to determine unless they were to actually live with the families. Many examples of PAS are actually due to both the parents. Some can’t get their heads out of there a** and see that the person that matters is the child. Unfortunately we have a very weak relationship standard here in america…..everyone throws in the towel to easily. I don’t think that PAS can be let into the legal system because it is to unstable and can’t be determined. Yes there are some cases that are valid….but to be honest with all the courts I have been through and all the parents I have spoken to….i believe it is because they both have a lack of responsibility. Everyone wants to blame everyone else. No one can just have the guts to say sorry and I was wrong….and lets work it out. No lets go to court and hire a lawyer and argue about stuff that doesn’t even matter. Also if the parents had a better bond and belief system the child wouldn’t be in the situation. Divorce is the scape goat. Blame yourselves for your failures not the other parent.

    • December 21, 2011 at 7:28 AM

      Yes; as you said there are valid cases of parental alienation syndrome. Undoubtedly, there are also cases in which parental alienation is not the problem. In situations where PAS is not the problem, studies indicate that a child may temporarily reject one parent; it is an adjustment phase. However, the meanings of temporary and chronic vary in their definitions. Clearly, “temporary” and “chronic” do not share the same manifestations— and especially the same outcome.

      On the contrary, courts do recognize, regardless of what the problem is called, that one parent can turn a child (ren) against the other, rejected parent. It is illegal in Brazil and there are ample cases in American and Canadian courts . Here is a link to just a few legal citations: http://www.rgardner.com/refs/pas_legalcites.html. Clearly, there is not a parent on the planet that is perfect. And, absolutely; there are many divorces comprised of two bickering parents. Along with what you mentioned, there are parents that “argue about stuff that doesn’t matter.” This is true. Yet, with intervention, such as parenting classes, the bickering parents (about stuff that does not matter) will realize that they must work together for the child’s best interest. However, two bickering parents is not the problem of parental alienation.

      Yes both parents play a role. But, the role is not equal. As Dr. Gardner noted:
      “My experience has been that when the PAS diagnosis is operative, the target parent is usually an innocent victim. Even though he (she) may have certain qualities that may have at times irritated or even temporarily alienated the children, the target parent does not deserve the campaign of denigration, the ongoing scorn, the complete rejection, and the decision never to see him (her) again. The animosity, then, goes far above and beyond what might be expected from these minor parental weaknesses (if present at all).”

      It is noteworthy that Dr. Gardner mentioned that the “victim parent” is innocent, meaning they do not deserve irrational rejection. He did not indicate that target parents are flawless.

      Additionally, as Dr. Warshak (2003) mentioned, the position that irrational alienation does not exist essentially means that all rejected parents deserve what they get.

      It does not do target parents justice to “equally” blame them (or also called rejected parents) given the fact that target parents obeys court orders, attends his or her child’s functions, loves the child etc. while the other parent, the alienating parent, ignores court orders, refuses to participate in parental duties, refuses counseling, chronically bad-mouths within in an ear shot of the child, and in some cases—flees the state or country.

      Moreover, according to Fidler and Bala (2010) rejected parents in an effort to cope may withdrawal or react passively. Another finding: “The alienated parent also has psychological symptoms that are more or less characteristic. The most prominent characteristic is a history of being passive, overly accommodating, or emotionally constricted” (Kopetski)

      Reacting passively appears to be a role that targeted parents may succumb to. However, many targeted parents react passively because they were informed to “wait their child’s rejection out.” Reacting passively, as Fidler and Bala mentioned, may serve as a coping mechanism. After all, if some claim that PAS is nothing more than a theory or two bickering parents and no one will listen to targeted parents; it is logical that some may become passive. What else can they do? They may, as Kopetski reported, become overly accommodating. Some may appear emotionally constricted and other studies show rejected parents display anxiety and depression. Yet again; the idea of being overly accommodating is not akin to an equal contribution by a target parent. The blame is not balanced.

      As most alienated parents have not been prepared to deal with the extreme behaviors manifested by alienated children, they may not know how to respond. Again, not knowing how to respond does not make the target parent equally responsible.

      As you stated above, apologizing and working out post-divorce issues is clearly ideal. Obvioulsy,this idea has not escaped target parents. Studies indicate that target parents have tried. According to Jaffee et al. (2010) Alienating parents do not listen to the court. They noted, “A minority of parents……may ignore the court and spend their waking hours finding ways to exhaust the other parent emotionally and financially” (2010). The findings by Jafee et al. are not in isolation. Baker & Darnall (2006) also found support for the alienating parent’s defiance.

      As it turns out, studies show that parental alienation is not about two bickering parents. Instead, PAS is achieved through various strategies such as bad-mouthing, limiting contact, belittling, and withdrawing love, the alienating parent creates the impression that the targeted parent is dangerous, unloving, or unworthy, thus compelling the child to reject that parent (Baker, 2007a; Baker & Darnall, 2006). At its most extreme, when a child completely rejects the targeted parent, the result is referred to as severe alienation or parental alienation syndrome (PAS) (Gardner, 1998).


  24. August 25, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    In our case the alienated parent has done this to herself and blame us and is in her own way trying to alienate the kids from us by saying we are doing this to her but our kids don’t have to be lied to because they remember the truth.

  25. Amie
    May 29, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    This is exactly what I am going through right now! I am so happy and yet sad that this has occurred so often that it needs a name!! I have been dealing with this for 14 years from my son’s father and it is only getting worse now that he lives with him.. so glad I found this website and maybe some answers!!

  26. Tammy
    May 29, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    How do you respond to the child (now 13) who has been suffering and continues to suffer from PAS when they are lashing out at you emotionally and with hatred. What do you do or say to the child?

  27. Aber
    February 20, 2015 at 6:09 PM

    My husband is an alienated parent-we are an alienated household. It forces the kids to lead a double life! One of a campaign against dad when they are with mom, then one of confusion when they see dad is not the monster he has been made out to be. It has been 7 years. The kids took on the step-dad’s last name, refuse contact unless they want some material item, and refuse to call their dad, “Dad”. they say “him” or “he”, etc. He’s feeling defeated. Oldest one is to graduate in May – no doubt the diploma will bear the last name of the step dad. We don’t even know if we want to make the trip just to be rejected once again for trying. It’s a shame. The kids suffer here.

  28. Shawn
    October 7, 2015 at 1:25 AM

    I don’t care anymore. I quit. After all the fighting I’ve done to make sure my kids had a better childhood then I did (my dad’s a drunk) I’ve finally reached acceptance. My kids are so ungrateful and selfish that I can’t fight the fight any more. Counseling, Doctors, therapists, we’ve done it all. And through it all I just wanted to get them to a place of normalcy. But they simply will not go there. I realize now there is nothing left for me to do but to finally throw in the towel and walk away. The emotional battering I take from them just gets worse the longer I try to be strong for them. I guess there’s many reasons and I could point the finger but ultimately there is only one reason that matters: I’m not good enough. So, finally, tonight I called their mom and said you win. After 15 years of providing and being there while you refused to hold a job or pay child support or help pay for their medical bills, you win. You think you can do better then me? Do they really think your sudden ability to work part time is somehow going to magically give them everything they want? Or that your “new” boyfriend that you moved into his house is going to be alright with back talk or is suddenly going to be their best friend? Well, alright. Have at it. But when the door closes it doesn’t open back up. When I say I’m done, that’s it. It’s their choice. And they have to live with it. Forever.

    • Richard
      October 7, 2015 at 11:43 PM

      The pain can be heard by you. I sounded the same way and even made the same decision. It was tough and hurtful and never really got over it. But you do survive. I will also say that you will never give up. Easy to say but not that easy to do. Stay strong and be you. But you do have to find a peaceful happy you. And hold the hope that there will be a turning point and they will return.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s