A divorce can be a confusing time for a child. You may be facing emotional upheaval too, so it could be easy to become upset if your child wants to leave your Pennsylvania home to live with your ex. However, there are methods to handle this transition of new living arrangements when making this decision with your child.
Ways to approach the topic
While it may be troubling if your child does not want to live with you, displaying anger or resentment is not advantageous. Instead, it is crucial to be open and honest in your communication to show that you respect your child, even if you disagree.
Before beginning the conversation, set guidelines on how you and your child can talk to one another. Both of you being calm and collected will result in a healthier discussion. Next, let your child know that they should be honest with you. Regardless of what your kid has to say, listen and empathize. Your child is going through a lot and may have built-up feelings they should express. Similarly, be clear about your worries and fears. If your child wishes, it may beneficial to have your ex present.
Things to avoid
This conversation could be challenging and bring up negative emotions, so you want to watch out for some unproductive habits. It may be easy to bring up judgmental and harsh opinions on your ex, but doing this could make you look worse in the eyes of your child. Your child may be experiencing some uncharted emotional territory, so attempt to not take their words too personally. Especially young children could have trouble expressing themselves well, so being objective might be crucial.
It can be extremely hard to hear your child say that they do not want to live with you, but trying to create a safe environment for your child to express why they feel this way could be very useful. Divorces are not easy, so if you are facing legal issues, a family law attorney may be able to help in resolving custody problems or creating a parenting plan.