Tuesday, October 13, 2015

PAS

PAS, blended family, step parenting
I bet you're wondering what does PAS mean?  It stands for Parent Alienation Syndrome.  It occurs when one parent brainwashes the child or children with the combination of the child’s own bad-mouthing the other parent. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot we can do to fight against it legally. There are ways to find out whether your children or stepchildren are going through this. 
The warning signs are:
  1. Letting the child choose whether to visit with the other parent when the child really has no choice about visitation because it’s set by a court order
  2. Telling the child details about the marital relationship or reasons for the divorce
  3. Denying that the child has property and may want to move possessions between homes
  4. Denying the other parent access to school or medical records and schedules of activities
  5. Blaming the other parent for money problems, splitting up the family, or having a girlfriend or boyfriend
  6. Refusing to be flexible with the visitation schedule or over-scheduling the child with activities so the other parent isn’t given time to visit
  7. Assuming that a parent who has physically abused the other parent will assault the child. This assumption isn’t always true
  8. Asking the child to choose one parent over the other
  9. Encouraging the child’s anger toward the other parent
  10. Suggesting changing the child’s name or having a stepparent adopt the child
  11. The child is unable to give reasons, or can give only vague reasons, for their anger toward a parent
  12. Using a child to spy or secretly gather information for the parent’s own use
  13. Arranging temptations that interfere with the other parent’s visitation
  14. Reacting with hurt or sadness to a child having a good time with the other parent
  15. Asking the child about the other parent’s personal life
  16. Physically or psychologically rescuing a child when there’s no threat to their safety
  17. Making demands on the other parent that are contrary to court orders
  18. Listening in on the child’s phone calls with the other parent
  19. Breaking promises to the child  
(all of these warning signs came from: Lawyers.com, you can find more information here at: http://family-law.lawyers.com/visitation-rights/parental-alienation-syndrome.html)

If you are experiencing any of these above, then there’s a very good chance your child or children are suffering from PAS.
Unfortunately, my stepchildren are suffering from PAS, they have several of these above and, unfortunately, it has hindered our relationship with both of the children.  I just wish the children could see it happening, but they can’t see it.  The ex-wife has done nothing but use them as a pawn to hurt me and especially my husband and it has worked.  She talks bad about both my husband and me.  All we can do document everything and try to undo the damage she has caused and continues to cause my stepchildren.  We have always taken the high road on never talking bad about the ex-wife in front of children. It’s been very hard to keep quiet at times, but we have done our best to be the better person.  She’s done nothing but made us look like the bad parents even though we have done nothing but try to love the children and give them a good and positive structured home life.
When they were younger she would tell my stepdaughter to tell her Father that he needs
to pay child daycare and if he was ever late, she would have my stepdaughter get on his case about it rather than calling him and discussing it with him.  Then there was a time where my husband filed to get the child support reduced.  The ex-wife told both of the children that they would have to go to commercial daycare now and get up even earlier for school because their Dad filed to get child support lowered.  The stepdaughter came that weekend very upset with her father and yelled at him for wanting to lower child support and told him everything her mother said. Anytime the child support didn’t come, she would have my stepdaughter yell at him about it.  When the child support was being handled through Friend of the Court system, so it was out of my husband’s control of when payments were mailed to the ex-wife. My husband would tell my stepdaughter “that this is between your mother and I and you don’t need to get involved in these matters, it is for adults to discuss.”  She was only 11 years old when she was being told to yell at her father for matters that really only concerned the parents. 
Then the ex-wife started taking us to court for changes in custody and unfortunately won, because we never got the court papers in the mail, so we had no idea that the hearing ever took place until we heard the new custody arrangements from the ex-wife.
Then telling my stepchildren that I took their Father away from them and that I don’t let their Father see them or spend time with them.  I never once stopped my husband from seeing his children or spending time with them 1:1.  In fact, most of the time it’s my idea that he does something with his children 1:1 and always gave him fun ideas on what to do with his children.
Last year, my step children said that my husband is not on their side and that he is always on my side and that he puts me, my children, my job, and our church first before his children.  I do agree on one thing, he does put me first before his children, just like I put him first before my children. However, there are no sides, he disciplines his children, I don’t discipline them, and, therefore, there are no sides to be on.  I discipline my own children, sometimes I ask his advice on how to handle an issue and he also seeks my advice and wisdom on issues or problems, but never in front of the children.
Just this past month, the ex-wife sent my husband saying she blocked my husband's phone number from calling my stepdaughter, so now he has no way of being in contact with her. She further stated that if he wants to talk to her that he has to go through her first. 
It just makes me very frustrated that a parent such as ourselves that provides structure, love and spends time with the children, end up being called the bad parents. They never once had to cook their own meals or forced to clean up the entire house. All we asked for is to respect one another and to clean up after themselves. 
When the ex-wife has no discipline, doesn’t clean or cook for the children, doesn’t do laundry, swears often, has no bed times, lets the kids watch whatever rated shows they want too, has gone on many dates with different men, married one man and divorced him within two years, that's what a best better fit parent looks like? My stepchildren have told us that over at her house, they have to cook their own meals or they go out to eat every night of the week, they have to do their own laundry, and clean up the entire house, while she reads a book or takes long naps.
Family vacations to her are flying the kids to Florida without her, she stays at home and doesn’t even go with them on vacation, and just ships them off to Florida without her.
As for us every year we haven taken them on family vacation trips with all of the children, we either go camping or take them to other fun places.
One time during our weekend visitation, while the ex-wife’s house was for sale, she called and demanded that my stepdaughter go home just to clean the entire house because she had a showing on the house.
I just feel so bad for these children that they have been brainwashed to hate both of us. When we have shown them so much love, support, stability and structure than their mother has. It just feels like a constant losing battle with my stepchildren and the ex-wife. We are trying our best to stay strong through all of this and hope that one day when my stepchildren get older they will see everything their mother has done to ruin our relationship with them. I just pray that we can make it through the next four more years of the PAS. My stepdaughter is now eighteen years old and has moved off and gone away to college in Florida however, my stepson is fourteen years old, so we still have another four years to go until this parent alienation ends. But something tells me that even then it won’t end because there will be weddings and grandkids and so forth that she will get to control.  There’s one thing that is for sure our marriage is strong and we will make it through these rough storms that she throws our way. I will continue to pray for my stepchildren that they see the light and I also pray for the ex-wife that she changes her ways and stops the damage she is doing to the children. We both would like to have a good relationship with her for the sake of the children, but the only way that will happen is through a lot of prayers.
Is your children or stepchildren going through this right now? How have you handled it?

References:

Parental Alienation Syndrome (2015). Lawyers.com. This information was found on:  http://family-law.lawyers.com/visitation-rights/parental-alienation-syndrome.html?page=2

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