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How to talk about PAS?

young_step_mom's picture

Quick recap: DH and BM have been arguing over CS since April/May-ish and BM has been keeping (and we think alienating) SS11 from us since September.  SIL, who lives in the same town as SS,is having a party this weekend and somehow got permission for SS to attend.  None of DH’s family has really been able to see or talk to SS since September either other than running into him or when MIL went to BM’s to see him but he refused to see or speak to her.  Anyway, DH and I are going to see SS but I’m sort of freaking out that he may not want to see us or that if he does, everyone will just act like nothing happened -ALL of DH’s family are just terrible at communicating. 

Obviously i don’t want to make SS feel bad or guilty about not talking to us but I feel like it’s also not OK to act like nothing happened.  I’m a firm believer in not bringing kids into adult situations but if BM is already filling his head with things, shouldn’t we try to clear things up and tell him the truth?  I’m so confused about everything and just so shocked by BM even allowing him to come to the party so obviously that makes me more anxious because i think she must have something up her sleeve.  I feel like I’m just going in circles thinking all of this over in my mind. 

And i KNOW this is DH’s job and he should be the one stressing over this but he’s just not a good communicator and I know if I leave it to him it will just get pushed under the rug and I will just spend the next month thinking about what would have happened if I had stepped in, so keeping out of it is just NOT an option for me.  So please someone help, HOW do we talk to an 11 year old about PAS?  

Sorry for any typos, I’m on my cell 


tog redux's picture

Well, first off, I bet he won't go to the party. And secondly, no - you should not say anything about the alienation to him.  Just be warm and friendly and make sure he knows how much he is loved and was missed.  If you guys go in there talking about alienation, you will push him away further.  If he ASKS, then DH should answer honestly.  So if he says, "Mom said you didn't want to see me," then DH should say, "I'm sorry you thought that! I missed you very much and I always want to see you".

If DH says, "That's not true, your mother lied to you," he will push him further away.  He won't believe it and will feel the need to defend his mother.

Curious Georgetta's picture

Is that "it is so good to see you. We have missed you very much.," You are both attending a social event not a therapy session .

You should not bring your issued into your sister in law's party.  You say that you  think that the mom may be alienating the son but you do not know that with any certainty.

This would not be the time or place for that kind of conversation.

Go to your party and be a pleasant and appropriate guest.

tog redux's picture

I agree, she should not bring it up at the party.

But keeping a child away from his father in the absence of a court order stating it's necessary is ALIENATION.  Again, you don't understand this issue.

Curious Georgetta's picture

but we do not know whose actions and behaviors may be causing the child to stay away. Is it the mother keeping the child away or the father failing to be assertive.enough to get his child to come.


SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Yes we do know. It’s BM poisoning SS against his father because BM wants to bleed BF dry and he won’t let her. Lol.

Are you poisoning your family against your SIL? I wish she would post on this forum. Is she having children with your brother? Let me guess: you’re Team Skid and f*** her kids with your brother.

Winterglow's picture

An NCP shouldn't HAVE to be assertive to see their child. The CP is actually under the obligation to present the child for visitation according to the times defined in the CO.

Notup4it's picture

Yes I agree with this. CG, it can be impossible as a non-custodial to be “assertive enough” to see your kid..... because guess what?! You don’t get a chance to even be assertive enough when you are alienated (that is the entire point of alienation)!!!

There is a court order in place, and it is being broken and mom says “he doesn’t want to go and I’m not making him” - all the while he is in her home under her care and she won’t get the phone or blocks dad- dad doesn’t even have an opportunity to fix things- or “be assertive enough”.

As a parent with primary residence it IS your responsibility to make sure that court order is being upheld! And don’t think for a minute that there aren’t also times the kid isnt angry with the mom or what have you.... it is just that is where he lives so she has a chance to rectify things or whatever. He also won’t talk to any of his family.... classic alienation. And it all happens to align with court proceedings, use your head CG.

tog redux's picture

He doesn’t need to be assertive, he has court orders that the mother isn’t following. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Warning OP! CG is NOT a step parent! Apparently she hates her brother’s new wife who IS a step parent.

Careful about heeding “her” advice.

justmakingthebest's picture

One of the things that we have discovered is that if the child is still invovled with the family but not the father it can be flipped around to say it is the father's issues and the child isn't alienated. It is a weird thing but when the child cuts all ties with the entire side of the family the courts are faster to act. This could be BM's counter to alienation claims.-- See he does stuff with that side of the family, he just is so uncomfortable around his dad. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

The SS isn’t your kid and none of this debacle is your problem or fault. Disengage from SS/BM and anyone who takes BM’s side in her PAS war.

young_step_mom's picture

Thank you all for the responses.  I did not mean that we would talk to SS about it AT the party, I was thinking after.  I was also not thinking about "your mother has been keeping you from us," but more along the lines of "it's OK to be mad at us but if we don't talk about it, we can't fix the issue."  From your responses, maybe we'll just try tell SS how much we've missed him and that we're happy to see him.

With respect to the PAS -I cannot say with certainty that it's PAS, but I can say that BM rarely answers DH's calls, when she does answer she tells him that SS can't talk because he's sleeping, showering, in the bathroom, etc. and then won't answer when he calls back an hour later.  DH has gone to see him and BM tells him they're "out" even though she is given fair warning that he/we are going to see SS.  We've even tried to show up unannounced so she couldn't take SS out of town and she still wouldn't let us see him.  This all just started pretty much from one day to the next, by the way.  Not sure, but I'm thinking it's definitely PAS.