You have a viable child custody arrangement with your ex that works well for everyone. Recently, your son revealed that he wants to live with the other parent. How should you proceed?
Our Family Wizard offer tips for handling this revelation. Learn how to help yourself, your child and the other parent to navigate this shift.
Tap into your empathy
Before engaging with any feelings of hurt that you may experience, tap into your empathy. Think about how difficult this news was for your son to reveal, and consider how the divorce impacted him. By leaning into empathy, you have a better idea of how to communicate with your son about the matter.
Look past the surface emotion
If your child breaks the news in a way that comes across as hurtful, look deeper than his initial emotion. Focus on his secondary emotion rather than the primary emotion, as you may learn his decision comes from a place of anxiety, fear or sadness.
Discuss the news with the other parent
Let the other parent know about your son’s wishes. Together, you can determine what your child may not have in your household that he enjoys in the other parent’s. It may take only a few minor adjustments to satisfy your son, the other parent and yourself.
Bend, but do not break
Sometimes, children want to enjoy a certain lifestyle, one that the other parent could offer that you do not. Maybe you have house rules and regulations that your son does not like. If this is the case, examine the guidelines and expectations you have for your son while he lives with you. Ask yourself if you could make adjustments that give your son a sense of freedom without eliminating structure in his life.