As a parent in Georgia who recently went through a divorce, you have a lot on your plate. Dealing with children during divorce is stressful. Even though parents want what is best for their children, a situation like divorce can bring out the worst in them.
This may happen if your co-parent tries to alienate you from your child.
What is the goal of parental alienation?
Psychology Today pinpoints parental alienation syndrome (PAS) as a result of parental alienation. Parental alienation occurs when one parent drives a wedge between their co-parent and child on purpose. The goal is usually to “win” the child’s affections. Parents may do this for a number of reasons, including wanting to “beat” a co-parent.
Long and short term effects of PAS
Unfortunately for the child, most courts classify parental alienation as a form of child psychological abuse. Anyone who goes through abuse has long-lasting effects. Children also suffer in the short-term. If your child suffers from PAS, they may experience confusion, anger, aggression, conflicting emotions and guilt. They could either direct it outwards and scorn other people, or direct it inward and turn to self-blame.
This makes it hard for children of PAS to establish relationships and bonds with peers. Unfortunately, this carries over into adulthood, too. Many PAS victims suffer from trust issues and cannot form strong bonds because of it.
Adult victims of PAS often state that they also suffer from higher levels of depression, anxiety and even stress disorders. Many turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with this, like alcoholism. As such, PAS is a lifelong battle that children are unfairly thrust into due to the whims of a parent.