Robert Gougaloff ‘s Parent Alienation Blog

A blog about Parent Alienation

Why do PAS/HAP parents act like they do?

Just to put my disclaimer upfront, the following post is just an opinion, based on multiple books and publications I read and seminars I attended.

I firmly believe that PAS/HAP parents have never left the “Egocentric Stage” , which is the very first stage in child development, where survival skills are learned.  This stage usually lasts about three to five years in children, after which they move on to the “People Pleasing Stage” and the “Fairness Stage”.  Many adults however never move out of these primitive stages of child development.  To the parents still stuck in the first stage, having complete control over their child or children is a life and death matter.  Since they don’t know how to please people, every attempt to do so comes with strings attached.  They usually feel very uncomfortable giving, but will readily take.  They usually don’t obey the rules and may not obey any court order.

My observations have lead me to the conclusion that such parents are usually unable to “individuate” (see children as separate humans from themselves) and usually become overly enmeshed with their children.

Many psychologists diagnose such people as narcissists, a condition of self-centerdness, where they believe that they are entitled to whatever they want.  These people are also often called “sociopaths”, which is a person who has no moral conscience.  These people are unable to have empathy or compassion for others and are usually unable to see a situation from another person’s point of view.

The severe PAS/HAP parent usually has a very poor prognosis.  It is unlikely that they are ever able to “get it”, and it is even more unlikely that they will ever be able to stop the alienation process, because after all it is a survival issue to them.

The victimized children however, are being heavily abused by such behavior.  They end up in a double bind.  Their instincts and genetics tell them to love the target parent, but they also figure out “which side the bread is buttered on” and their survival needs push them into an unnatural and uncomfortable, not to mention confusing direction.  That is why Parent Alienation is considered a severe form of child abuse by many psychologists.

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October 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments