Okay Moms I need advice here. My oldest daughter wants to go and live with her father. My daughter has wanted to live with her father for the past few years now. Every time she visits she cries when she comes back home. It makes me feel so bad and I question why would she want to go and live there. I also ask myself," am I a bad parent" or does she really want to go,"thinking she will not have choresor responsibilities". I just do not know. She participates in school, recreation sports, just about everything. Now, I must say that I can be firm and we enforce rules that she has to follow. Every parent has rules-right?
Her father is not a bad person. He works, has a family of his own, and he loves her very much. I know that he would take excellent care of her but I worry about the wife's actions. People can change when changes come and can affect their way of living.
Last week school was out for spring break and she went to stay with him for the week-to make a long story short, when she came back she was crying. Crying so bad, I thought someone had hurt her. She told me that she didn't want to be here and that she wanted to go live with her dad and that she has lived with me for 11 years. I just didn't know how to take this. I would love to hear from other moms- how you would handle this life changing situation.
I can certainly understand your concerns as well as your hurt. You seem to be in a wonderful where the father actually cares for and takes care of his daughter. I wish my girls were so lucky. I agree with Charlene; your daughters request to live with her father is NOT a reflection on you. It is human nature to want to be with your parents, but if the parents are not together then these type of situations come into play. I feel this is natural of her to want to live with her father. Also, don't forget about this unexplainable bond girls have with their fathers. I certainly have that bond with my dad.
I would highly recommend you, your daughter, her father AND his wife sit down at the dinner table and discuss this and plan out what will work best for her. This will give you the opportunity to get a feel for how his wife feels and a chance to lay everything out on the table from everyone's perspective so there are no misunderstandings. I WOULD NOT allow her to move in with her father until this meeting of the minds took place. I believe communication is key and this is a transition for everyone, so things need to be discussed before any action is taken.
Please don't beat yourself up. As Charlene said, you are her mother and nothing in this world can ever change that.
I agree with the other moms. Sit down as an entire family and talk about it. Talk to your daughter about her reasons for wanting to live with her dad. Make her look at it in a realistic light without the rose colored glasses of a weekend.
Growing up in a divorced home, I adored my father & desperately wanted to live with him. In looking back, I realize that would have not been the best place for me, but I didn't understand it at the time. But, I also didn't want to cause my mom any hurt while growing up & leave her alone.
I'm a stepmom & had a VERY long talk with my stepdaughter when she was younger that she is always welcome in our home to live with us. I highly doubt she'll ever take us up on that b/c we are much more strict than her mother, but I wanted her to know that she has that option if it ever becomes necessary. But, I told her during that discussion that we would sit down as one big family (her mom & stepdad included) to find out the best location for her to live and go from there.
These women all have great tips and points. I will just take this opportunity to remind you, ' the grass is always greener'. If you stop fighting against her going, she will have to sit down and take a long hard look at weather or not she actually wants to go. To this day, my bonding time with my mom is strongest after I spend time with my father. It may be an incredible oppprtunity for you and your daughter to grow togather, especially in the few years to come, because honey, they aren't going to be any picnic ! I remember being a preteen and still apoligise to my mother often, this many years later. I hope this helps, Martha
Wow, I wish you could meet my friend Angie. Her daughter made the decision to go live with her dad and it actually turned out okay. She went on to finish high school and is now in college away from both parents. As mothers we are so protective but we have to remember that our children belong to both parents and both parents can provide the same love and healthy environment. It is natural to feel rejected but also remember that your child has two parents that obviously love her very much.
I also wanted to mention my cousin has a 12 yr old daughter who wanted to live with her dad. My cousin lives in MD and her ex-husband lives in Boston. The thought of her daughter living in Boston made her ill, but she let her go live with him last school year. Her daughter enjoyed herself, but missed her mom, so after that one yera stint in Boston, she told my cousin she had enough, missed her room and wanted to come back. That decision was no reflection on her dad because he loves her dearly and treats her well, but for my little cousin, she just felt more compelled to go back home to her mom. I say this to say you don't know how things will turn out, but as long as your daughter is being treated well on both ends; that's all that matters.
I agree with many things said here. I grew up in split home and desperately wanted to live with my father. For years my mother would not allow me to. When I finally got the opportunity, I high tailed it out of there after 8 months. It was awful, and nothing like my dreams had been!
Now as an adult in a blended family (mine, yours and ours) my oldest son (mine) has said a few times that he wanted to go and live with his father. The answer was "NO", with a very gentle explanation that he was just not old enough to make that decision. My middle son (his) also decided one day he wanted to go and live with his mother......again "NO" with the gentle explanation following. I did not get into details, bash the other parents or what not. The situations my children would have been put into was unacceptable. I said things like 'I need to be sure that you are getting your education', things they new about but really didn't know how to argue about :-)
It sounds as though your daughters' father plays a very active role in her life. I might suggest talking with him first and seeing how he feels about the request. Allow him to talk to his wife. One of the hardest things I have had to learn in my life is how to be step parent!
In closing.....you are her mother. It is your job to make life choices for her until she is able to do them on her own. That's what us mom's do, its not always a popular job. But, I think that those tough decisions help our children realize how to make the right decisions when they are grown.
Anyway....I could ramble for days.... I hope this helps...Good Luck!
I went through this exact same situation with my daughter, who is now 18. It is not an easy decision to make and very difficult to put your emotions aside and determine a what is best for your daughter. Is your ex- husband asking her to move in with him? How far away do you live from him and how often do they see each other? I actually let me daughter go and live with her dad in the 7th grade, which lasted for one year and then she wanted to come back. Unfortunately, that started an uneasy pattern for all of us and when times got rocky, she would want to move again. She left again in the 9th grade and also came back after one semester. She stayed with me again until her junior year. I do not recommend that anyone go through the cycle that we did. It will have an effect on your daughter's grades and she needs to understand that you make the decisions, not her. If I could do it all over, I would have made her stay with me the very first time. Good luck to you.
my youngest daughter also wanted to move in with her dad it was the hardest thing i had to do she was 15 i let her go by the time she was 17 she was back home and she came to me with the old line that i wanted to say but didnt THE GRASS IS NOT ALWAYS GREEN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE . good luck and god bless you on your journey
Both my teens decided to go live with their dad and after talking to them about it i chose to let them go and it broke my heart, but they need to know their dad so they
don't have unrealistic ideas about him, and the hardest thing for a mom to do is let go of her kids!
It has been a year since they left and it is so hard, but you apparently have a responsible ex and see
I don't or I feel the decision would have been easier somehow. I agree you should all talk with your ex and his
wife and discuss it but if he is responsible maybe you should let her have that time she feels she needs and i bet she will come back to you, if you don't let her she may hold deep resentment for you and thats not good for any relationship! God Bless You
Honestly, this is a hard one. You cannot blame yourself for being a bad parent. The age would be the most important factor. If she is young and not mature, I would let her stay with me. One thing I do know, is that you will have to let go or she may run away etc. Do the normal teenage stuff.
If she is close to eighteen and mature, then I would say let her go.
Whatever you do, don't let her run you. I saw it all the time when I was a probation officer. Now is the time to establish a good relationship with her and TALK more.
As a mom, with three boys and no DAD, I had to learn the REVERSE role with kids. We would switch places. Ok, you want to be mom, be mom. I will be the child one day. You can pay the bills and cook etc. They did not like it.
Trust me it works, especially when the bills are rolling. I would give my son the check and would go cash it together. Then, he would pay the bills and I would ask for stuff. He had to tell me their is not enough. You get the point.
This would be a good practice for girls..Give them some responsibility, so when they leave, they can handle it out there own there own.
Hi...I just read your story. I think in my opinion, that you schould let your daughter go live with her father. If that is what she really want (by all the crying) then support your daughter. In return you and your daughter will find a deeper connection, she will see that you trust her opinion and support her desicions, and she will be able to trust you in and confide in you when the REAL teen-girl problems come up. Of course make sure that there are guide lines that you would like respected on too...like...phone call every other day, e-mails (offten) you want to be at all the major school functions and want to have a say so in the education and extra activities. Also every ther weekend she had to come over and spend time with you where you can do mother daughter things. (~L~)
Maybe suggest a trial basis or negoiate a shared parenting plan that splits the time equally. I don't know your situation, but my 2 boys went to live with their father, mainly because they did not get along with my new husband. My ex is not a bad father, he just really was not that involved with their lives. He just wanted to get them through so he could sleep in his chair. Anyway, he saw opprotunity in it, he saw his chance to get child support, then started acting the father of the year. I'm not suggesting your ex is anything like that, you just don't know what is being said on that side of the fence, what is being promised. Is he a Disneyland Dad, is step-mom sickening sweet to be liked more. I know that is what I went through. To make a long story short. I let them go. They need to know the grass may not be greener, one day they will mature and I hope they remember who supported them the most who set their futures in motion. BTW...he didn't get child support, he ended up owing me for 3 years of back medical bills and activities.