Handling the aftermath of a divorce is often a tough task for anyone. In some divorce cases, adjusting to life after the split takes months or years. Some never entirely make that adjustment.

And in some cases, your co-parent may actively try to sabotage any attempts to adjust to a new normal. This is often the intent behind parental alienation.

Personality changes and PAS

Psychology Today examines signs of parental alienation syndrome, which stems from parental alienation. Parental alienation involves your co-parent actively sabotaging your relationship with your child. They may use potentially abusive and manipulative tactics to achieve this goal. Due to this, some courts consider parental alienation as child psychological abuse.

If your child suffers from this syndrome – also known as PAS – you may see warning signs. First, their personality could change. Previously energetic, vivacious and happy children may grow despondent and glum. Many children suffer from increased irritability, easy agitation and a lower tolerance for stress.

PAS victims and coping

You could see them pick up unhealthy coping mechanisms. Many children of PAS will being to lash out at others or internalize their emotions. Some display signs of guilt and self-blame. Others grow angry and defiant toward authoritative figures in their life, like teachers or babysitters.

Of course, they will also likely display an aversion toward you and the idea of spending time with you. This is the ultimate goal of the alienating parent. If you notice any of these changes in your child, consider bringing it up to your legal specialist. They can help you decide how to proceed from there.