Divorced Colorado co-parents strive to do right by their children. Unfortunately, divorces can blind you – especially nasty and messy ones. In these cases, a co-parent may end up making harmful mistakes in an attempt to spite their ex-spouse.
Such is the case with parental alienation. Whatever reason a parent has for trying to do this, the affect on your kid is undoubtedly a negative one.
Effects of abuse in PAS victims
Psychology Today looks at the impact parental alienation has on alienated kids. First, these children are technically victims of psychological abuse. The courts categorize parental alienation as abusive. Children subject to this form of abuse may feel guilty and confused. They could feel hurt by what your co-parent says. They may feel confused by their own conflicting feelings. This is particularly true if your co-parent lies, creating an image of you that directly contrasts what they know. This can cause them to lash out or withdraw, developing unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Short and long term impacts
These children tend to suffer in the short-term, but also carry the trauma with them into their adult lives. Children often develop trust issues and struggle to form bonds with peers. They may struggle in romantic relationships in particular. Many also suffer with depression or anxiety. In extreme cases of parental alienation, a child might even develop post traumatic stress disorder.
Unhealthy coping mechanisms established in early childhood tend to worsen over time, too. On top of that, they may develop more as adults. Particular examples include substance abuse or alcoholism. If you notice signs of parental alienation early, talk to a legal advisor about them. You may be able to act before it is too late.