Is it normal for my son to want to live with his dad?

Amy - posted on 04/19/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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My 11 year old decided he doesnt want to live with me anymore he wants to live with his dad. Its breaking my heart.

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Teresa - posted on 04/22/2010

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My son is 18 now, but when he was 11 he wanted to live with his dad and kept saying he didnt want to live with me anymore. At first I didnt want him to go, but then I changed my mind after careful consideration and agreed. He went and moved in with his dad. Michael saw his dad every other weekend and holidays. He thought his dad was cool. His dad spent time with him, bought him things, took him out for special activities. Dad was cool. But then when Michael moved in with his dad, BOTH of them discovered how the other one truly was in everyday life. My son hated living with his dad, they did not do the same stuff as they did when they only saw each other on weekends. His dad still had rules and chores for him. He still got disciplined by his dad when he did something wrong. etc... after 2 years Michael decided he wanted to move back home. He hated living with his dad. So he moved back. But you have to allow them that choice and option and allow them to learn.

Amanda - posted on 01/09/2012

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I feel you my 10 year old hasnt been home with us in 3 months and I dont know what I did wrong

Elizabeth - posted on 04/21/2010

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My three kids growing up often said that they wanted to live with dad. But, only when I want them to do their chores. lol. Mom don't take it to heart, he will get tired of saying it and everything will be alright. Goodluck!

Amy - posted on 04/21/2010

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I want to thank all of you who have responded. I feel much better about the whole situation. My son (and daughter) sees their dad every other weekend. My son says he needs his dad to show him how to be a man cause I cant. I understand where hes coming from. I think maybe I will take him to a councelor to see if there isnt anything else going on with him and his decision to move. I too had divorced parents and I went to live with my dad when I was 11. So I know how he feels, but it still breaks my heart. I feel like I have failed somewhere and their dads girlfriend makes sure I feel that way everyday. But I think maybe a councelor is a good step. Thanks to all of you.

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Jennifer - posted on 12/31/2012

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I'm going through the same thing with my 11 year old son. He is such a teddy bear and I love him too death. I can't imagine not being able to hug him, laugh with him, pushing him to be best that he could be and just having him around. He has told me and his step father that he wanted to live with is dad in Seattle (we are in CA). It broke my heart and I thought I was a horrible mom and I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I sat down with my son and I told him that I understand that he loves his dad and that it may be good for him to be with his dad, but I did inform him that his dad has rules and works as well as I did. He took a few weeks to let things set in. He brought up the discussion again and told me that he wanted to just visit his dad. He told me that he loves me so much and that he couldn't be away from his sister and myself for very long, but he does miss his dad very much.

My children's father is a good man and I know that he would do whatever it takes to see his children. Times are tough for both of us-as most Americans in today's age, but I believe parents should be civil and put aside reasons for their divorce and focus on the matter at hand- children.

Sue - posted on 11/05/2012

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Hi Amanda,



My son is now 12 and last Oct. he left for his dads and he wouldn't return my calls or tell me why he didn't want to come back home. Finally I went to him and told him that I wasn't mad but just upset and wasn't sure what I had done wrong. He finally said, he just missed his dad and it had nothing to do with me, that I was a good mom, I just wasn't a guy. lol I than in Jan. of this yr lost my job and after 9 months of job hunting and being lonely, I decided to move to Kansas to spend time with my mom and granny. I had lost my grandfather in 2006 and my dad in 2008, I felt this was the time to spend time with both of them. I sat down with my son and had a long talk about me moving & him either coming with me or staying here with his dad. He decided to stay and although it did break my heart, I knew he was happy and still is. I skype online with him every other day and as long as his grades are still great (he's a straight A student) & his attitude hasn't changed than I won't make him come with me. Now my 22yrd old daughter isn't speaking to me for moving without my son. She called me selfish & a bad mom. That hurt me more than leaving my son in Ohio. I plan to visit him for the holidays and I send him packages with new clothes and goodies. He likes that. His dad & him are best friends and share the same likes. So, maybe just give it a try & let him know that although this isn't what you want you want him to be happy.

Good luck!! :)

Paula - posted on 04/25/2010

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If divorce was a word of the past you wouldn't be married. Just sayin'. I agree that some fathers deserve to have primary custody of their children and should at least have equal visitation/say so, unless they're JERKs and want to chase skirts and got themselves into their situation. People in this country do not take family life seriously enough. Kids need BOTH parents. But it really hurt my SM when her son wanted to go and live with his dad and things didn't work out well when he did. He was back in less than a month.

Kim - posted on 04/25/2010

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I'm not trying to be an ass. But children have a mom and a dad. It seems that most often the dad's get called all the names and are the jerks etc. That is so not always the case. You feel bad about your son wanting to live with his dad and how it's breaking your heart. Did you ever stop to think of the effect this has on your ex? How it probably breaks his heart every time he takes his son back to you? I think that all women need to think long and hard about that. My husband has a 16 yr daughter and 14 yr old son from a previous marriage. It breaks his heart to only see his children when it's good for their mom. Divorce effect's the man too. I think the law should make jumping into marriage alot more difficult along with divorce. Divorced parents should have to suffer all the pain their decision has on the children. And perhaps divorce would be a word of the past!

Amy - posted on 04/25/2010

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So I took my son to a councelor and I told my son that he couldnt live with his dad until schools out. So I figure I have a couple months to try and change his mind and maybe the councelor can find out the root of my sons behavior. Its getting worse, hes getting into fights at school, he doesnt want to do any of his homework or chores unless I give him an incentive to do it. Idk, I guess its just one day at a time.

Monica - posted on 04/24/2010

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Don't worry about it, I went through the same with my older son,he's 12 and not long ago told me the same.I guess he was thinking I'll be upset or crying but I told him that if it's what he wanted,go ahead but it has to be trgh the court cause is not a game,and if he goes he's not coming back until is my time and that's it..So I guess he thought about it and changed his mind a few days after..I think kids are very smart and they like to play with our minds sometimes just to see how we react..

Paula - posted on 04/24/2010

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ouch. fortunately I haven't been there yet but I know that it happened in my family when I was growing up. my stepbrother wanted to live with his father mostly to get away from 4 sisters. I don't know your situation but you probably got custody of your child for a reason. hang in there mama and hold those reins loosely. unless he's in danger, I say let him try it out. part time dads breeze in, get all the fun glory and leave you to do the nose wiping and the discipline. good luck :)

Lisa - posted on 04/23/2010

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I agree with everyone else hang in there and eventually he will stop saying this to you. my six year old says that to me also especially if I get busy and cant play with him. he doesn't see his dad but once every other month or so and then his dad devotes all his time with him. so I know what you are going thru.

[deleted account]

My kids are going thru the same phase. I think its because daddys new girlfriend has a 2 year old daughter and they are desperate for a little sister. Also as daddy only has them every other weekend he gets to do the fun things where as i ask them to tidy their rooms and do all the discipline. Stick with it. It will get easier

Durenda - posted on 04/23/2010

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as hard as it is you have to let him go. Make him understand that if he goes he has to stay until the school year is done( summer is a good time to start for this reason) odds are he is thinking that dad doesn't have the rules you do and will be more fun. It is a power play, and most of the time they come back very soon b/c they miss mom and friends and all that. hang in the and be strong

Shayla - posted on 04/22/2010

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My husband and I are having the same problem right now with my 11 year old step daughter. We have had custody of her for 5 years now for very good reasons.... just last night she packed her stuff and demanded that she goes to live with her mom (who frankly isn't mom of the year).. my husband had a talk with her and basically told her that she needs to think about this long and hard and if she still wants to go live with her mom he doesn't want her calling in a month when things aren't going her way and want to move back home.. (which would never happen i would move her back home in a heartbeat) any way my point is I think its just the age... Hormone are raging, they are at that age where they are just trying to push the boundaries and see what they can get away with. I wish I had some helpful information for you, I hope he changes his mind.

[deleted account]

We have in our house a little thing called "The Man Manual". Sometimes guys know stuff girls don't. Don't feel bad about anything, I'm sure you've given your all to your son.

[deleted account]

I'm sure it's normal even though it's breaking your heart.
My parents were divorced when I was in Gr. 2. I lived with my mom, brothers and sister until Gr 7. I felt like I wanted to live with my dad and see what that was like. I loved being with my mom (even though she had a boyfriend I didn't like). Just thought it would be good to live with my dad a bit. I lived with him from Gr 7 to Gr 10 then moved back with mom. My younger brother even came and lived with us as well. My parents lived in different towns (9hr drive away) and I felt fine. My parents were always civil with each other and both home lives were stable. Not sure how it would be if the story was different (don't know your history).

Mom would sent letters or cards and visit when she came down. Just keep in touch and let him test the waters with Dad. Has his dad not been in his life at all? or is everything alright with that? He just wants to change his surroundings, don't worry that you'll never see him again or you'll lose him.

Just keep in touch and kids love getting cards in the mail.

DeAnn - posted on 04/19/2010

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I went through this with my daughter. My ex hasn't been much of a father her whole life. He has never really grown up. My daughter has noticed, but she was curious of what it would be like. I didn't want to talk bad about my ex to her & upset her. I know it would not be a good place for her to live, but at age 12 (in TX) unless you can prove something really bad, usually the judge will allow the child to move & test it for about 6 months. I took my daughter to see a councelor (one who specialized in her age group & that I thought she could be comfortable with). Not to change her mind, but to help her to think about the decision & to help her to make a good one. I am happy to say that she is now 13 & still living with me. She knows he would not make her do school work & how important it is even though she doesn't enjoy it. (there are a lot of other things that factored in too). But she made a very mature decision that I did not expect at all. Her dad & his family are even trying to bribe her to move, but she sees past it.

I know I was very stressed & upset about it all. I tried my best not to show her. I did sit down with her & tell her I would be sad if she moved & that I hoped she would think really hard about it & make a good decision. I do believe if he was a good dad & did what would be best for her that I would have (sadly) let her try it out for a while much easier.

Stephani - posted on 04/19/2010

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I think this is normal. My parents divorced when I was a child and I am also divorced from my sons father. I remember being 14 and telling my mother that I didnt want to live wih her anymore. It wasnt because i didnt love her or that I really didnt want to live with her. It was simply because whenever I visited my dad he let me do whatever the heck I wanted to do. And also, I would go spend a weekend with him and it would be really fun because i didnt see him that often. We would go out to dinner and he would take me to movies etc. A child cant seperate the thought that it would be different if they lived with the parent. My son tells me that he wants to live with his dad sometimes also. But I know its the same as when I was a child. His dad takes him to do all kids of fun things when he is with him because he doesnt see him but twice a month. When he is at home with me we have fun but he is also expected to do chores, homework, etc.

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