You probably thought divorce was the hardest part of your life. However, helping your children go through this can make it even harder!
This is especially true when you share custody of your children. There are going to be times when your children may only want to stay with you or your ex, and not their other parent. However, both parents deserve a chance to be in their children’s lives.
So, what can you do if your child doesn’t want to spend time with his or her other parent?
Don’t push. Many parents will push their children to go, even if they have a good reason why they want to stay with you. If you continue to push and push, you can damage your own relationship with your child. He or she may even resent you, for making him or her spend time with their other parent.
You also need to make sure that you aren’t the reason behind this problem. Though you may not try to, there are times when our children feel like they have to pick a side. They may hear you talking bad about their other parent, making them want to stay with you. They may start to believe the bad things that they are hearing, making it safer to stay with you. They may also want to stay with you, to protect your feelings and help you get through this difficult time.
It is important to know that teenagers are quick to choose one parent over another, so you need to make sure that you aren’t forcing them to do so. Make sure that your older children know how much they are loved, by both of you.
This may mean that you have to have some serious discussions. You need to get to the bottom of this, or you may ruin your child’s relationship with his or her other parent. Take time to sit down and talk about what is happening.
Are they struggling with the changes going on? Do they feel safe at the other home? Are they worried about missing out on time with their friends if they go to their other parent’s house? Are they lonely at the other house?
You should bring your ex into the discussion. Once you figure out what the problem is, it is time to come up with a solution. Let your ex know why the children prefer to spend time with you instead of them.
Maybe the two of you can come up with some sort of solution to make the transition smoother. If your child thinks he or she is missing out, maybe your ex can make sure that it doesn’t happen.
If that isn’t possible, you still need to find a way to allow them to spend time together. If the living situation isn’t working out, you should still make sure that your child spends time with his or her other parent. This may include spending time together at the park or going out to dinner.
The truth is that children often prefer to spend more time with one of their parents over the other. However, when you share a child, it is important that you find a way to do this.
You may need to have some tough conversations to find out what is going on. Your child may not be happy at the other house, and you may be able to work together with your ex to ensure that their relationship continues. This may include time spent together at the park or going out for meals.
Previously published on Medium and/or Newsbreak.
About the Creator
Small town country girl in southern Pennsylvania. Raising two boys on a small farm filled with horses, goats, chickens, rabbits, ducks, dogs, and a cat. Certified veterinary technician and writer at Virtually Shelley.