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Old 09-16-2015, 10:30 PM
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Default Parental Alienation Syndrome

Hello all,
I have a question in regards to PAS. My daughter's birthday was a few days ago. I had to request a call with her. When I did, she seemed a little off. My 2 and a half year old son facetimed with her as well and when we told her that we missed her, she didn't say anything. This happened a couple times in a couple conversations. I spoke with her tonight via text and when I asked her if everything was ok, she said that "mom doesn't like when I tell you that I miss you." It took everything I had to not call her mother and lose it on her. I can't believe that someone would hold that over their child. I do know it happens and I'm not na´ve about it. I handled it by telling her that we could come up with a code word if she wanted to tell me and only we would know it. She immediately jumped on the idea and came up with one within seconds.
I just went through re-negotiating my agreement with my daughter's mother and we were able to settle outside of court. Documents are still in the process of being signed. During my summer access this year, (which was my first time having them for more than two weeks, thanks to us agreeing on things), my ex tells my girls halfway through my time that when they get back with her, they are each going to be getting a kitten. The summer before, it was new bikes when they got home from their extended access. You can guess what happened next. My girls obsessed about it, as any little girl would. I feel this to be so wrong on different levels.
With this and the fact that she is now trying to manipulate how they talk to me, does anyone feel that I have significant proof of PAS? She's signed our documents and does not want court because she can't afford it, I still have to sign. My wife and I are at a standstill about how to handle this one. I'm obviously furious at this moment. I will take a day or two to calm down so I don't act out of emotion. I'm thinking that I should make her aware of what she is doing to my girls, because I honestly don't think she's aware. We have 8.5 years of documented occurrences of her trying to push me out of my kids lives. Should I push and get the office of the children's lawyer involved and try and get my girls? My wife and I are at a standstill right now and only want what's best for my girls. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:45 PM
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Check this thread: http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...uations-13799/
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:58 PM
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thank you, looking at it now
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:54 PM
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You don't have alienation going on. If your daughters were alienated from you, they wouldn't want to speak to you and/or they would be actively hostile. There wouldn't even be an issue about telling you that they missed you, because they wouldn't miss you if they were alienated.

Frankly, what you're describing doesn't sound like a major problem. Bikes and pets are reasonable things for a mother to get her kids, especially since the kids reside with her and not you. If they're excited about getting a pet or a bike when they go home, an appropriate response from you would be something like "that sounds exciting, what are you going to name the kitten?" or "once you have a bike, you can go riding in the park, that will be fun". It's not tactful for Mom to tell the kids in the middle of their visit with you, but it's not a crime either.

Similarly, I don't think you should be encouraging your kids to have secret words that their mom doesn't know about. That just sets up Mom vs Dad in their minds, which creates divided loyalties and internal conflicts for them. No matter how much you and your new wife dislike Mom, your daughters love her and she is their primary caregiver. You shouldn't be undermining her with secret codes. Remind your daughters that you love them and care about them and leave it at that.

I don't think anything will be gained by bringing this up with Mom, unless you're looking for an excuse for an argument. You may not like some of the things she does, but nothing you've said here rises to the status of alienation.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:03 AM
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You have indicated that you and your ex have kept your matters out of court so far. This is a good thing, however, one thing that people have to do when they do go through court in many provinces is take a mandatory 'after-separation parenting' course. Perhaps you could suggest that the two of you take the course (independently of each other of course) hopefully prior to everything being signed off?
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:34 AM
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First off, sign the papers. Youre not going to get anywhere with further court actions. This isnt PAS and no judge is going to give you custody because your ex is buying gifts.

However, your ex IS acting inappropriately. She shouldnt be telling the kids how she feels. You are their father and they are allowed to miss and love you. You need to appreciate this from their perspective. It is very hard to love a parent when you feel disloyal to your other parent. Its torture. When they tell you they arent comfortable saying something in front of mom tell them youre sorry their mom is making them feel that way and if they arent comfortable you understand. You may want to suggest they ask for some privacy when they speak to you. You cant control your exs behaviour and a court order wont stop it. Theres also an option of counseling but at this point it isnt anything more than a vindictive ex intent on hurting you. She is being unfair to your kids but people like that never get it.

The bottom line is dont play her game. Dont force your kids to do something or say something they arent comfortable doing. Dont let them think they are in the middle of a battle. They love you and they want to spend time with you. Keep encouraging a healthy relationship and when theyre old enough they will recognize the inappropriate behaviour and take their own actions.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:55 AM
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I have had very similar problems, and the counselors and psychologists and courts saw it as the beginning of Parental alienation. However it took years of this behavior and an escalation to become anything in court. What you have now will not be looked at in court.

My daughter was not allowed to say I love you or wave to me when her mother was also at concerts or recitals that our daughter was in. The counsellor talked with her about how it was ok to love both parents and we spent some time going over how people can love lots of people at once and that no one should make them feel bad (but we never named mom as the one to make her feel bad it was a general comment so she felt no guilt about loving mom, or feeling a need to defend her) the focus stayed on making her feel its ok to feel what she feels and not an attack on other parent.

The counselor and her did come up with a gesture and a word for if her mom was around.

The bit about her basically bribing the kids to like her house more with items is just a game. Don't let it bother you, talk to the kids about how fun and exciting it will be, then make the best of the time you are together.
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:51 AM
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I'm going to play devil's advocate here and say there are definitely issues around parental alienation. Not because of these mentioned issues specifically, because each one of these on their own seems like it could easily be explained away or forgiven as a lack of courtesy, however when reading through your previous posts under this and your prior username 'Crispy', when you put everything together all of those things add up.

So yes, I would definitely say there is an issue, maybe not full blown PAS (yet) but certainly enough to consider the direction it's going.
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