How does PAS affect children of divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2021 | Children's Issues In Divorce, Divorce |

Going through a divorce is already a traumatic event for the whole family. Unfortunately, sometimes the trauma ends up worsened intentionally by the actions of a parent. This is the case with parental alienation, in which your co-parent tries to destroy your relationship with your child.

Parental alienation leaves lasting scars on your child throughout their life. They suffer from parental alienation syndrome too, which can have far-reaching consequences for years to come.

A child’s temperament and behavior

Healthline looks at parental alienation syndrome (PAS) and how it impacts children of divorce. The most obvious signs usually come through in a child’s behavior or temperament first. The major manifestations depend on whether your child directs their emotions inward or outward.

Some children might begin to lash out at others. They may disrespect authority figures or stop listening to them entirely, including parents and teachers alike. They might develop a hair-trigger temper. They could also seem very easy to agitate. On the other hand, they may withdraw. They could exhibit reluctance toward spending time with others. They develop issues with guilt and self-blame.

Manifestations of trauma in adulthood

Not only does it affect kids in their youth, but it can go on to haunt them in their adult years, too. The poor coping mechanisms established in childhood carry on and often manifest in more dangerous ways. For example, many children with PAS go on to develop addictions in adulthood. They also suffer from a higher rate of depression, anxiety and trauma disorders than their peers.

If you notice signs of PAS early, consider contacting a legal expert. If you can stop the damage before it begins, you can save your child a lifetime of pain.