As a divorcing parent, you may, like many others, have valid concerns about how your split could potentially impact your child or children. Contrary to popular belief, though, not all divorces do irreparable harm to children involved. Instead, many parents who prioritize their child’s well-being above all else find that they are able to part ways while having only a minimal impact on the child, and there are steps you might be able to take to help ensure that this happens. One such step involves giving your child the ability to voice where he or she wants to live.
According to Psychology Today, many divorced parents find that sharing custody over their child allows each parent to maintain an active presence in the child’s life. However, once those children begin to enter the teenage years, they may start having more opinions about where they want to spend their time. So, should you let them voice their preferences?
Listen to your child
In many situations, allowing your child to voice his or her own preferences with regard to where to live benefits him or her over time. As your child ages, he or she may develop stronger opinions about moving back and forth between homes, living alongside new step-siblings or what have you. It is important that you act as a sounding board if your child expresses a desire to live elsewhere, and that you try to take your personal feelings out of the equation.
Be open to change
If your son or daughter wants to modify a custody arrangement in a way that is not going to majorly impact you or the other parent’s life, consider doing so. Having a willingness to compromise and genuinely listen to your child’s preferences may improve your relationship moving forward.
While younger children may not have the capacity to think through all aspects of a custody arrangement, older children may have their own opinions, and it may benefit you all if you listen to them.