What Should You Do if Your Child Doesn’t Want to See You?
Children have a difficult time adapting to their parent’s divorce. Many children often blame themselves. Both parents must encourage their children and speak with them in this moment of emotional insecurity. While talking with your children is always a good thing, you should never slander the other parent. Talking bad about the child’s parent is the first step in parental alienation. As this process continues, the child may no longer want to spend time with their other parent because they’ve constructed a false image of the person in their mind based on lies--Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS).
What is Parental Alienation Syndrome?
One of the hardest things for any divorced parent is to hear their child not want to spend time with them. This denial is emotionally traumatic and can stir anger and hatred within the parent. As the targeted parent, it isn’t easy to understand why your child doesn’t want to see you, but with PAS, things don’t always make sense.
Parental Alienation Syndrome stems from the co-parent speaking poorly about you to your child. What might begin as venting about frustrations soon turns into defamation. As your alienated child continues hearing these horrible things said about you, it is only time before they start believing them–and it’s a slippery slope from there.
After the child has heard enough negative things, they begin to vocalize those exact words to you as they criticize your every move. Your child may even compare you to the co-parent and talk about how mom or dad is better. But not all children react the same way, so it’s crucial to know the different signs of parental alienation.
Here are some signs you should look for in your child:
- Denial of past positive experiences
- Hostile rationalizations
- Lacking ambivalence
- Invoke “free will” as their reasoning
- Lack guilt
- Consistently support alienating parent
- Tangling lies and truth
- Rejecting extended family
Use Counseling to Deal With PAS
If you believe your child suffers from Parental Alienation Syndrome, all is not lost. While the road ahead is difficult, you can repair your relationship with your child. The science community does not officially accept PAS as a syndrome or disease, so no one-size-fits-all remedy is available. However, all lawyers and counselors agree that seeking family counseling is the best first step to take.
A counselor is someone who can serve as a mediator within your family dynamic and help repair your child's relationship. This process takes time since every family is different and presents unique challenges, so you must devote your time and attention to the meetings.
If you cannot get the alienating parent and child to attend these sessions, you might have a case for parental alienation you can take to court. Since there is no explicit definition, you need examples and documents to prove Parenting Alienation Syndrome. And that’s where Hickey & Hull Law Partners can help. We value family and want to help preserve yours. Call us today for a free consultation on your child custody disputes.