When you leave a narcissistic spouse, they may have trouble coping with the end of the relationship. For them, it means losing control and ruining their self-perception. To get back at their partner, they will do whatever they can to destroy them -- including using their children as pawns. Parental alienation is a common form of abuse that narcissists employ to prove their dominance over their ex-spouse.
What is Parental Alienation Syndrome?
PAS or Parental Alienation Syndrome describes an unhealthy relationship between a narcissistic parent and their children against the other parent. In this situation, a child will act hostile and reject the innocent parent. PAS is common with narcissistic parents because they believe they are the better parent and deserve more attention, love, and loyalty from their children when compared to the “innocent” parent.
PAS can be portrayed through a variety of symptoms, including:
The child judges the targeted parent for their lack of competency and adequacy
The narcissistic parent encourages and rewards the child for participating in this behavior
The narcissistic parent will claim they are innocent in the situation
The child believes that they are forming their own opinions and do not believe the alienating parent has influenced their decisions
Children that are subjected to PAS learn to disrespect, disobey, and disregard their non-narcissistic parent. They end up feeling empowered by this because the narcissistic parent rewards them for acting this way. Ultimately, alienated children develop high rates of depression, anger, anxiety, drugs, and alcohol, and relationship difficulties.
What to do if Your Child is the Victim of Parental Alienation
The key here is to not become like the narcissist when confronting them. Don’t counteract the negative comments with more negativity. Instead, tell your child, “I’m sorry your mom said those things about me, they are not true. I love you too much to put you in the middle of this.” Remember, the child is part of both of their parents, and disrespecting one parent over another.
If you need legal assistance dealing with a narcissistic parent impacting your child custody case, call Edens Law Group, LLC at (908) 259-6565 for compassionate counsel.