You and your ex finally worked out the details of your divorce, and you have primary custody of your shared children. Recently, your son shared that he wants to live with the other parent. What is the fairest way to respond to this news?
OurFamilyWizard has insights that may help you. Learn how to respect your child’s desires and maintain your relationship.
Tap into your empathy
You may feel hurt by your son’s news, but you must have empathy for your child rather than prioritize your feelings. How has your son fared throughout your divorce? Do you understand his reasons for wanting to live with the other parent? Think about how this move benefits your son, his relationship with the other parent and his relationship with you.
Look past secondary emotions
Your son may reveal that he wants to live with the other parent during a heated argument. Rather than respond to the anger in kind, dig deeper into the emotion that triggered the anger, such as anxiety, frustration or sadness. Your son may not understand the source of his anger, but you can help him by not taking the display of emotion personally.
Get to the deeper meaning
Could your son want to live with the other parent because he enjoys the lifestyle he experiences living with your ex? Ask questions to determine if you may need to either change or loosen your house rules so they are more in line with your child’s age and shifting needs. A slight tweak to your house guidelines and expectations could create harmony.
Divorce is just as hard on children as it is on parents. Take steps to give your son the most favorable home life possible, no matter which parent he lives with.