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    • #66068 Reply
      AvatarAnonymous
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      What age did you let your child choose if they wanted to live at their Dad’s house? For the first time my son wanted to stay an extra night at his Dads house and I get the feeling he might prefer being there now he is 6 1/2. I just want him to be happy and I can’t give him the fun times of family coming over (my family are useless). Whereas, at his Dad’s he sees his Grandma and Papa. No matter how many fun things I do with my kids It’s never good enough and I just can’t compete with the life they can have there (with family around and that extra support). I know from my younger child that their Grandma has told them she wants them all to live there so maybe I should just give in, as they will probably decide to live there when they are older. Maybe I should get the heartbreak over with. Thanks

    • #66070 Reply
      AvatarAnonymous
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      Reading your post makes me feel like there’s more to the story than just your son asking to spend an extra night at Dad’s house all of a sudden. Surely you wouldn’t be thinking along those lines to that degree in response to just that?.. unless you’re perhaps feeling inadequate after hearing the request from your son? (completely normal response, in my opinion)
      It’s hard to say, not knowing how long you’ve been separated. After 18mths of separation from my ex, my son asked to spend an extra night. After 2yrs, my daughter asked to spend an extra night. He’s not even a great Dad, and it took about 10mths before my kids were even ready to stay with him overnight in the first place. Basically they just love him (because all kids love their parents whether they’re good/bad parents, fun/boring parents etc…). Turns out they both prefer to spend no more than 1 night (most of the time, not always), it was just a combination of their Dad pressuring them and the fact that they perhaps wanted to at the time. Just because a child makes a request like that, does not mean that they are wanting to live primarily with that parent.
      Look at it from another perspective – what if your child asked to spend an extra night at Grandmas (imagine Grandma on your side is a doting Grandma), or an extra night at his best mates place, that doesn’t mean he wants to live there, it just means he wants another night. Kids ALWAYS want more… more time with friends, more time playing, more treats, more activities, more toys etc they don’t know what they want or what’s best for them! they don’t know their own limits! Gosh even some kids who can’t even handle sleepovers ask for them all the time, then never go through with it because they can’t handle what they want!
      I’ll follow up with this: if you are approaching from the point of view that you think you’d be doing your child a favour handing him over to his father… When my parents split we were all asked who we want to live with – we ALL wanted mum, but such a hard thing to expect us to say. Long story short, my brother said week at each house – My mum assumed he needed a stable base, one house only (even though we would visit the other parent every weekend), my brother was deeply hurt thinking Mum didn’t love him enough or want him and cornering him into an impossible decision, so he said Dad. So he went to Dads, we went to Mum’s. Now as a middle aged man with his own family, still carries that with him. He consider’s our grandma (Dad’s mum) more of a mum to him than our mum ever was… So a lot for you to think about, but seriously don’t jump to conclusions based on something a child says – everything always requires further investigation.
      AND, even if it turns out that actually yes he does want to live with Dad, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t still need you. Kids love both parents deeply, he doesn’t need to feel like he’s been deserted by you for wanting to live with his Dad.

    • #66080 Reply
      Lucy GoodLucy Good
      Keymaster

      I wouldn’t give in. Kids need their mum and it all might seem like fun and games to them now, but in the long run they will love being with you.

    • #66086 Reply
      Lucy GoodLucy Good
      Keymaster

      6 is too young to really know what is right for them. I think 12 is general age when they can choose. I would stick to your guns and try not to be so hard on yourself.

    • #66094 Reply
      Lucy GoodLucy Good
      Keymaster

      Our girls were constantly saying they wanted to live whichever parent they were having the most fun with at the time. We made a rule never to allow them to choose because they were usually playing us off against one another and they were to young to really know what was best for them. Ultimately at age 17 one daughter did chose to live with me full time but by then she was able to make her decisions based on reality and not where the best toys were!

    • #66101 Reply
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      Thank you for your responses. Yes, I feel extremely inadequate after the emotional abuse my ex mil piled on me. I still feel completely worthless most of the time. That’s how she and my ex made me feel. I left just over a year ago and find it a constant struggle to pull myself out of these feelings. It’s disgusting how my ex, his Mum and even my own Mum blamed me for my son’s behaviour. Recently diagnosed with autism and now I know why every parenting tactic didn’t worked. It’s horrible. Every time I parent I hear their criticisms echoing in my ear, even though I cut them from my life. I have known for a couple of years that ex mil wanted me to go and leave the kids. So, I guess it’s a major trigger when my son said he wanted to stay an extra night because of what my other son tells me (Grandma said she wants us to live at Dad’S house) and my daughter (Grandma said if you don’t have me you will have no one). I guess I feel like I’m losing him to ex mil and that she finally got to him. Ex mil is a sick person that subtlety does this and I’ve always known she will try to talk the kids into thinking she is more valuable to them than their own mother and that I’m not needed! My 4 year old cries when he tells me ‘Grandma says you’re a naughty Mum’. So, she is definitely slowly turning them against me. And no, I’m not paranoid. This is what a Dr I spoke to said without even knowing the full story of how she treated me. Anyway, it’s a long story with many other degrading comments and treatment when no one else, except the kids were around. Thanks again.

    • #66123 Reply
      Lucy GoodLucy Good
      Keymaster

      Hold your ground. 6 is way too young to know what the right decision is. You will lose him more if you allow him to go there full. It sounds like a touch of parental alienation is happening. Pls be very careful.

    • #66164 Reply
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      Thanks. Yes, definitely some sort of parental alienation still going on but no way to prove it yet, as the kids are so young. It’s just concerning because she will weasel her way into their minds slowly and surely as they get older. She’s a pro at it unfortunately.

    • #66179 Reply
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      My 4 year old asks to go to his dads because there’s a really cool toy there. I certainly wouldn’t be letting them choose until 12 and up.

    • #66183 Reply
      Lucy GoodLucy Good
      Keymaster

      You sounds defeated and tired but you can’t give up for the sake of your son. He needs his mum.

    • #66191 Reply
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      I was 13 when my dad asked if us kids wanted to live with him my sister was 14 and brother was 11. I was the only one who moved back with mum, stepdad and 2 little sisters. I never lived with dad

    • #66207 Reply
      Lucy GoodLucy Good
      Keymaster

      We let one our kids choose at 17!

    • #66275 Reply
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      Ok thanks. Yes, I’m defeated and sick of pulling myself out of holes when things just constantly go wrong or don’t work out and having to stick up for myself with no family members in my corner. No one to fall back on financially scares me, ex mil ‘getting into the kids’ minds scares me. It’s just too much lately. I pick the kids up tomorrow so I’ll see how my oldest is then. Thanks again.

    • #66597 Reply
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      I’m not sure if you’re the same mum who posted about parental alienation by her mil but I will say the same thing. Please please read up on parental alienation. I really recommend Amy baker. Or bill eddy. Eeeny meany are an Australian organisation that have lots of great book recommendations. Basically there’s no way a 6 year old should make the decision to live full time with dad or even mum. You are being manipulated. One of the biggest risks for severe parental alienation is little or no contact with one parent. It makes it so easy for the alienators. I’m stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship and it majorly affects your confidence. It takes a long time to really see that you are fine, abusers twist every tiny little flaw or mistake and as none of us our perfect parents it can chip chip away. Your son needs your stable influence, please don’t give in or give up. Unfortunately there isn’t enough professional help for PA so I really recommend doing research and understanding the disgusting manipulation that you’re suffering.

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