So far, your parenting plan and child custody arrangement have worked well for you and your co-parent. However, your shared child recently expressed a desire to live with the other parent. How should you handle this situation?
Our Family Wizard explores the matter and offers insights that you may find helpful. Learn how to do the right thing for your child and yourself.
Rather than only relying on your own point of view on the matter, tap into how your child must feel about breaking the news to you. Think about how your divorce or separation affected your child and continues to affect your child. Seeing things another way may help you better communicate with your son or daughter about the matter.
Disengage from your initial reaction
Upon hearing that your child wants to change households, you may feel shocked, hurt, guilty or ashamed. While understandable, it is better to try not to take the revelation as a reflection on your parenting skills. Just as you feel a certain way, your child feels a certain way, too. It is those emotions that lead to your daughter’s or son’s choice. Being understanding of and respecting those emotions is what you all need most right now.
Consider the missing pieces
One reason your child wants to switch households could be that she or he enjoys a certain lifestyle at the other parent’s house. Ask your child if the other parent has certain rules or a specific structure (or lack of structure) your child enjoys more than the ones you have in place. While it is fine to have structure and rules, it is also good to revisit your parenting style to ensure it meets your child’s most current needs.