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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DS, 10.75 yrs, has decided that he wants to go live with his Dad for the upcoming school year. I was shocked! He has lived with me his whole life. I had him when I was 16. His Dad and I were married for 3 yrs (when he was 2-5 yrs old) but he worked night shifts and spent the rest of the time getting into trouble, so very little time was spent with DS. Since then, he has been in and out of the picture, mainly because he couldn't get his life together. The past 9mths-1yr, he has become much more involved in his life, but still disappoints DS on a regular basis by not coming to ball games, not doing things as promised, etc. I think that DS thinks that if he lives with him, he will just naturally do things to fill up the enormous void that he has from all the time missed. I think that would be great, but is probably very unlikely. I don't really feel like it's the best thing for him to go live with him, but he is pretty sure that he wants to. He's been out there for the past 3 wks and seems content. We have to decide soon, as school will be starting, and we live just far enough apart that he would have to go to a different school. I want to respect his wishes, and not have this thrown in my face later, but my gut says it's not in his best interest. What to do?
 

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At that age I know that I was capable of making a decision like that (though I was a serious little Capricorn, and maybe a bit too mature for my age). As a mom though, I obviosuly wouldn't want him to go and risk seeing him be hurt by his dad. Is there anyway that he could go and if it doesn't work out, come back? Even if it's during a school break or something? That's what I would probably do. Is let him go and try it this one time, but make sure he understands that if things don't work out like he thinks they will, he can always tell me and we'll fix it and bring him home. Would be very hard to let go of my boy though and watch him be possibly very hurt and dissapointed with his father. Then again, maybe it will work out really well and they'll get along great? Good luck to you both.
 

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I think at a certain age, they really feel the need to re-connect with their other parent.
2 years ago my 16 y/o ds decided he wanted to go live with his dad, whom he hadn't seen in almost 9 years. (Totally not my ex's fault, we live in different countries). I struggled with it, but finally relented, because he really was feeling that void in his life and wanted to know that part of himself, his culture, and his huge extended family. He's been there for two years and he's very happy, and I don't regret my decision even though I miss him terribly. Then last year, my 15 y/o dd decided to follow her brother and go live with their dad as well. They're both very happy with their decisions, even though they miss me as much as I miss them. Their dad is finally ready to be a dad.
I don't think 11 is quite old enough, though, but then again, I don't know your son and your ex. Plus you live close enough that you can always get him back easily if it doesn't work out.
What is his dad saying about this? Will he agree to give him back if it doesn't work out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses. FWIW, he is also mature for his age, saying and thinking things that I know I didn't at his age. And though his Dad says that he is perfectly willing to have him come live with him, I know that he would happily let him come back home. The problem is the timing. I took him out of school last March to HS him since he was having a miserable year. Now he wants to go back to public school at his Dad's (although a different one) and be able to come back home and be HSed if he doesn't like it. There's not enough summer left for him to stay for a while without if involving school. I don't want him to think that he can just waffle back and forth between HS and PS. That's not the best for anybody.
:
 

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As long as you feel he is safe, I think it's important that you allow it at least temporarily. And as far as waffling between PS and HS- well, it's not ideal, but similar to living with his dad, sometimes kids get this "grass is greener" idea and the only way for them to stop idealizing someone/thing they need to experience it. My parents divorced when I was 11 and I was never given the option of living with my Dad. My dad was more responsible when it came to being there for us, though. I do understand your misgivings but I know my DH had a lot of issues against his mom for coming between himself and his Dad, and he moved in with his dad to escape being grounded when he was a young teenager
: Some boys, just like some girls, really crave that male role model and either he will get what he needs, at least partially, or the illusion will be shattered. Either way, when he grows up he won't feel that you came between their relationship.
 

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Quote:
Either way, when he grows up he won't feel that you came between their relationship.
ITA

It sounds like it's not so much that he wants to live with his dad, but that he wants to go to a different school.
 

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my dh was about that age when he said he wanted to go live with his father who much like your ex was pretty non existant in his lfe thus far. He went and was back at moms before the end of the school year. yes he changed schools 3 times that year but at least he figured out his dad really was and still is a jerk (not that your ex is, but his is and he had to find out for himself). after that experience he realizes so much of the burden of raising him was put on his single mother,no more idealistic views/dreams of a better life living with dad. I think good could only come from the experience...he could find out his dad lacks character,integrity and/or morals or he could find that he is a good guy (everyone deserves a second chance)and what son wouldn't benefit from that?
 

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Have you discussed it with his father yet? Maybe he won't agree with it anyway. Maybe you could come to a decision where he can stay with his father a couple weeks and then with you a couple of weeks and alternate. Your son may be craving that male companionship that a father provides.
Maybe you could compromise and meet in the middle.

If he only wants to live with his dad because of the schools there then why not just enroll him based on his father's address and commute there each day?
 

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As long as his dad will take adequate care of him, and he realizes that it's probably not going to be a fairy tale, I see no reason why he shouldn't be allowed to decide for himself.
 

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I am quite sure that if you just forbid it outright, then you will be setting up some kind of future resentments.
I think the best thing is to talk really openly with your ds and try to find out why it is that he wants to make the move. It could be an issue with schooling, it could be that he is getting to an age where he wants to have more of a male role model around, it could be a "grass is greener on the other side".
A mature 10yo is definately old enough to make a consious decision about where they want to live.
It sounds like it's really hard for you, but I think we need to support our kids in the decisions they make. And if you really talk openly about it with him, you may find that he doesnt really want to go there in the end, he just wanted some particular freedom that you dont allow, and that maybe you can compromise on once you realise how important it is, or something like it.
and yeah, he may well decide to come home to you after a short stint with dad, and while its not the most ideal schooling situation, its also not a disaster!
 

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I would let your ds know that you totally support any decision he makes and let him know you will always be there for him. If this doesn't work out with him living with his dad he is SURE welcome to come home with you. But that you stand by his side...... Like the others have said, sometimes they just need to experience stuff and learn from them. Maybe it will work out for him & maybe it won't... But at least he will sure learn from HIS own experience.

Good luck!

Blessings,
Shelly
 

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TRUST YOUR INSTINCT!!!

I cannot stress that enough, dont let hurt feelings get in the way, think it through and TRUST. my son's dad and supposedly my son INSISTED on staying with dad for age 8-9. son said he wasnt interested, dad swore when I wasnt around he was begging. so I let him go stay and I could not have made a worse possible mistake, for my son's sake it was the worst mistake I have made and the worst I could have. if you want details I am happy to give but my instinct told me no but dad was SO pushy and I was afraid of keeping my son from something he might want just because I felt it was wrong.

sorry if I overused the bold but I cannot stress these points enough.
 

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I would let your son go live with his dad, with the understanding that if he changes his mind, he is more than welcome to come back to your house.

It took me 4 years to convince my parents and the legal system that I needed to be with my mother. I ended up very skillfully faking bi-polar depression, as well as other behavioral issues. Once I was finally allowed to live with my mom, all of those issues just magically disappeared. If my parents had just listened to me in the first place, none of us would have gone through 4 years of hell.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by arlecchina
TRUST YOUR INSTINCT!!!

I cannot stress that enough, dont let hurt feelings get in the way, think it through and TRUST. my son's dad and supposedly my son INSISTED on staying with dad for age 8-9. son said he wasnt interested, dad swore when I wasnt around he was begging. so I let him go stay and I could not have made a worse possible mistake, for my son's sake it was the worst mistake I have made and the worst I could have. if you want details I am happy to give but my instinct told me no but dad was SO pushy and I was afraid of keeping my son from something he might want just because I felt it was wrong.

sorry if I overused the bold but I cannot stress these points enough.

well didn't you ask your son what he wanted?
 

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I would not ever let my ds live with his dad for any amount of time. I am his mother and I've raised him since I was 17. My blood, sweat, and tears have gone into him and I won't be played like a game of musical chairs. I'm raising him and he can "visit" his biodad.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamachandi
well didn't you ask your son what he wanted?

of course. he said he didn't want to. his father fed me the "he just says what he thinks you want to hear" bit and I trusted him not to lie. I dont know to this day if he was telling the truth or not. then again neither I nor my son and possibly even his father had any idea how abusive etc his wife was.
 

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My husband went see his biodad when he was like 15 and stayed there for a year or so. He really needed to know where he came from. It upset his mom deeply, but he really wanted to find out where he came from and what kind of father his dad was. He learned alot and moved back in with his mom after a year or something like that. He now has an adult relationship with his dad and is closer to his mother than ever.

April
intuitive medium
 

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its not his age that alarms me when making this kind of decision but the fact that it is being hade hastily. I mean a seriuos life change after 3 weeks of visiting. would her be willing to wait until midterm? next summer? this will give his dad time to ease into the transition, time for the two of you to reall think about and sicuss reasoning and pros and cons, and back up plans. maybe have him work through some of it with a counselor or other unbiased third party.

just some time to really think and absorb. and make an arrangement with his dad. I don't know what kind of legalities this would entail. or what kind of lifestyle change it would mean for everyone. but all something to consider.

does dad live vlose by? could you start by stepping up visitation?
 

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I work with a lot of boys through Boy Scouts......This is the age that I see more if not most boys needs a man/men in their life. I had work with many boys from 1st to the grade your son is/will be and I started to see hormones and they needing a man to connect with. I still see these boys. They hug me but I can see how they needed male influence to their lives. I see the same change happening with my own son.

I do think it is hasty decission so it should be slowed down some...can you increase visitation? Make the change slower? Or even put it off until AT LEAST after Christmas?
 
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