I split with with my wife recently and to my luck, my son decided to live with me. He sees his Mmum every other weekend and when he returned last time he said ‘I want to see more of my Mum’. As soon as I asked him (delicately) about it, he said ‘Actually, I don’t want anything to change’ and I asked if he would Facetime his Mum to tell her so, which he did. I’m worried that when he is with his mother, she is trying to play some slightly underhand mind games with him and putting him under pressure to get more time with him. What advice can any of you give me to stop me worrying every time he goes to be with his mother? If it’s happening, that is so low…
There is no real advice to give. It is very common to have one parent use a child to undermine the other parent (or variations of, such as exposing the child to negative conversations). Depending on the extent it is actually illegal. But policing it is almost impossible. All you can do is have the conversation with the child and say that it is their decision, not mummy’s or daddy’s and then leave it alone – you don’t want to make them feel under pressure from you as well, nor disloyal for what they might choose to do. Honestly, kids work this stuff out for themselves.
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