my son wants to live with his dad

My 12-year-Old Son Expressed That He Wants to Move In with His Dad: Advice?

A mom writes in looking for advice about how she should handle her son wanting to live with his dad.

A Community Member asks:

Hi. My son is 12. My ex-husband and I have an excellent co-parenting relationship even after he moved 4.5 hours away nine years ago. My son expressed to me that he wants to move there and just told his father last night. I don’t know how I feel about it, besides being resentful to my son and angry. Any advice?

-Mamas Uncut Community Members

Community Advice for the Mom Upset About Her Son Wanting to Move In with His Dad

To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.

Fan QuestionMy son expressed that he wants to move in with his dad: Advice?Hi. My son is 12. My exhubs and I have an…

Posted by Mamas Uncut on Wednesday, January 29, 2020

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Advice Summary

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“Is he wanting to move in with his dad to get more time with him? I know for my brothers they would rather hang out with my dad than my mom because of the just a bond between them and an unspoken understanding.”

Could he be trying to escape to get a different set of rules or atmosphere? Is it possible he is having trouble at school and wants to get away from them? At that age, there are so many things that could be going on in his world to make him want to move. The best advice I can give is to be open to what he is thinking and help in whatever ways necessary.”

It’s very hard to let them go. My son moved in with his dad who lives 640 miles away from me. It was very hard without him but we kept in good contact and after a year and a half, he decided to come back home. Sometimes we have to give them that inch sometimes they take a mile and sometimes they give the inch back!”

Try not to be angry. He’s not trying to pull away from you. I bet he just misses dad. Co-parenting is sometimes hard. But 50/50 means sometimes they live with dad. I know it’s hard but it might be a good experience for him.

I can’t only imagine how hard it will be but you need to let him go (( Hugs )) just let him know he can always come back.”

Let him as long as his dad is able to care for him. He is 12 and is old enough to make his own choice. He’s also in the time where he needs his dad more. If you force him to stay it might cause resentment and act out. Maybe do a trial for summer see how he likes it he might decide he doesn’t wanna go after all.

I decided I wanted to move in with my mom when I was young because I didn’t get to see her often. Children will always want to go with the parent they see less because they miss them more. I’m sorry you have to go through this, but what you are going through the grieving stages. He’s not leaving you forever.

Final Thoughts

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I can imagine this must be very tough. It sounds like he just wants to spend more time with his father, and usually around that age boys do pull away from Mom and draw closer to Dad. Try to look at it in a positive way, that at least he has a father in his life and that he is a good dad.

Children can sometimes play these games of pitting parents against each other. If one parent lets them get away with more, they may try to go back and forth. If this is the case with your son, you might want to have a discussion with his father to stop that behavior. It sounds though like your son might just be wanting to get closer to his father. He may really need him right now and you don’t want to come in between that.

Stay positive, and we send you hugs.

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1 thought on “My 12-year-Old Son Expressed That He Wants to Move In with His Dad: Advice?”

  1. avatar of annanlanesmomma
    AnnaNLanesMomma

    My daughter did the same thing when she was getting ready to go into the fifth grade. We were living in Illinois and her father lived in California. But I knew it was something that had to be done no matter how much I was going to miss her because she felt like she was missing something and she had to find out what that was. It only lasted a year and she moved back home right for sixth grade.
    She also learned that it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns since she was living there not visiting. She had chores and a lot more rules and she was used to being with her father.

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