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What should I do when my child wants the other parent?

Going through a divorce is hard on the children involved. They have likely gotten accustomed to having both parents in one home. Now, all that is changing.

There is a chance that while your child is with you, he or she might start to miss the other parent. This is normal, but that doesn't make it any easier for you to cope.

Why might my child want the other parent when I'm here?

Children might ask for the other parent for a host of reasons. They might be frustrated with something that is going on and want to see if they can get a different answer from the other parent. They might just feel like they need the security of knowing they have both parents. They might not even have a reason.

What can I do to help my child?

One of the first things that you should do is have empathy for your child. Understand that he or she can't control these feelings. It is rough for children to learn that they can't have both parents with them all the time when they've had them around their entire lives.

Next, try to find out what you can do for your child. Maybe he or she needs a hug or to find a new focal point. Calling the other parent just so your child can hear that parent's voice might also help.

All matters involving child custody can become rather challenging as your children transition developmentally. When your child isn't happy and you know it, you might be ready to try to move heaven and earth to make the child happy. Instead, focus on helping your child to adjust to this new way of life.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "How to Respond When Your Child Wants Their Other Parent," accessed Aug. 17, 2017

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