Following a divorce, children sometimes struggle with the new dynamic. While you and your ex work out what you believe is in the best interests of your children, your kids may have ideas or preferences of their own.
How should you react if your child asks to spend more time with the other parent? It is normal to feel negative initially, but you can handle the situation tactfully to protect your child’s feelings and independence.
Encourage open communication
Some kids may already feel guilt about the divorce. The guilt can extend to wanting to spend time with either parent more or less than the other. Give your kids room to feel any way they need to deal with the divorce. When you let your children express themselves, they are more likely to open up and want to talk to you about how they feel.
Learn the reasons why your children want more time with the other parent. It could be that they need more bonding time or want to be closer to other friends. Be gentle and honest in your response.
Remain civil with your ex
If your children want to spend more time with their other parent, you may need to establish a new parenting plan. It is understandable if you feel hurt or resentful toward your former partner, but you must stay civil and professional when working out the details of the new plan.
Be careful not to bring up bitter or negative feelings in front of your kids. It could result in your kids feeling guilty or beginning to withdraw from you. Understanding and compassion can help protect these important relationships.