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My 12 year old really wants to spend more time with his dad should I listen to his wishes and let him?

We have 50/50 care and have been for years. We have a parenting plan agreement. My son has been wanting to stay more at his dads. He Has been acting up lately here but is fine at his dads house. I am single so I struggle a bit and he has to help a lot more especially his 2 younger brothers. i am hurt. Both homes are good for the kids. Father pays child support etc too. Would it help him if I left him stay a few extra school nights at his dads?


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Answers (7)

I think that allowing him to make those decisions is a great step towards independence and shows you value his wishes even though it means you get less time with him. As long as both homes are safe he should feel that he is able to come and go as he wishes to either ( so long as he's not using it as a bargaining/minipulation tool Sounds like you've both done a great job at co parenting even if it hasn't always been easy. Well done!

At 12 my son who adores me started spending more time with his dad and my daughter who adores her father wanted to hang out with me more. As they go through puberty they look for role models of their gender. It doesn’t have to be the dad a male role model like a sports coach, teacher, uncle or family friend. Your son is growing into a man this is normal.

OP You didn’t feel like maybe he was telling your son to stay at his more?
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 I’m married to their dad. So no influence to do this, it is a general observation.
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I wouldn’t let him. Work more on your relationship with him. Get organised, meal plan, slow cooker put on in the morning, spend a weekend getting everything in your home in its own place , buy more uniforms to wash less often and get in a strict rountine with the kids if you are not already , have the younger ones in bed and have one on one with your 12 year old after. Play some uno, lay on the trampoline looking at stars or watch a series together.
It’s hard as a single parent juggling stuff , sometimes you get caught up in running the house and forget about hanging out with the kids.

At 12 he would be hitting puberty too, at dads he would no doubt get more one on one if he’s got a partner to help around the house. If he doesn’t have younger siblings to help care for that’s a bonus for him too, try not to rely on him to help out often, he needs time to be a kid. Yeah 12 year old need chores not responsibliltys. It’s hard work for them, I was relied on far too much as a child with younger siblings, I am still resentful for it now. I never got help with homework, often didn’t even get it done.
It could be as simple as dad has wifi and you don’t or he gets to eat different stuff at dads.... talk to him more about why.
It will no doubt strain your relationship and distance you if you do.

 I am loving this answer. Common sense and actual parenting.
helpful (1) 
 Yes. While I am glad to hear you listen to your son, which is wonderful, but 12 year olds do not get to make these types of decisions.
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OP The three of us have talked through all of the issues and we have tried to keep things at normal arrangements but it’s not working!! it feels like everything has just exploded
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If it were a GIRL 50-50 saying she wanted more time with her MUM what would we be saying? Yes, of course, something must be up, she's starting puberty so she might be feeling uneasy around her dad at this awkward phase...SO, if a boy wants more quality time with his DAD, why not? Doesn't mean you can't meal prep, get your shit sorted and do all the things that posters have suggested below. Compromise with 1 extra day but make it clear you are compromising but won't be manipulated e.g. 1 extra day turns into asking for 2 extra days etc. etc. get something written up.

 Great point, I agree
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 Yes, excellent points but that all depends on the father.
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Let him. How hard is 50/50 on kids, I think from his age he should be able to decide where to spend his time at.

Yes, he is 12 and perhaps he needs his dad. This is assuming his dad is a good parent and it's not because he can do what ever he wants to do there.