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What to do when your child wants to live with your ex

Parenting isn't an easy job when there are two parents in the home. It's even more difficult when there's two homes with a parent in each. When your child wants to live with your ex, what do you do?

One single mom said the first thing to do is not to panic. When her son first yelled at her that he wanted to live with his dad, she thought it was because she had made him crack open his school books instead of going outside. That wasn't the last day she heard his opinion on the matter, though. He repeated the next day and the day after that. She realized that he wasn't going to simply let it go, so she asked him why.

The woman said it was a hard question to ask without being sarcastic. Her son didn't like the control his mother had over him -- things like betimes, homework and limits on video games and cellphones. Once she had listened to his side of the argument, she had him listen to hers. She told him that there were many benefits to him living with her, such as the fact that she stayed up late for two weeks helping him study for a World History test so he could pass it. These things weren't exactly important to him, but instead of yelling at each other, they started talking.

She agreed to relax some of her rules, although she didn't feel completely comfortable with the idea. She didn't tell him that doing so meant that the subject of him living with his dad was closed. Surprisingly, he agreed.

If your child has many things in common with your ex, it's only natural that there will be a strong bond. However, don't try to copy that bond, though. Try to create your own. Being the parent that is less popular isn't easy. You'll need some faith, patience and humility. However, when you're flexible and not panicking, you will be more apt to find common ground.

Source: Huffington Post, "How to Deal When Your Child 'Chooses' Your Ex," Michela Montgomery, March 01, 2016

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