You and your former spouse found your stride with handling child custody. Recently, your daughter shared that she wants to live with the other parent. How do you handle the news?

Before you do or say something you may regret, learn healthy responses to the news. Your reaction can either hurt or harm your relationship with your child and your ex.

Speak with the other parent

Let the other parent know about your daughter’s desire. By opening a dialogue, you can learn how to support your daughter and her relationship with both parents. The three of you may reach a middle ground that satisfies everyone. For instance, maybe you can let your daughter spend an extra weekend with the other parent, or perhaps you can arrange special events between your daughter and the other parent to improve and sustain their bond.

Shift your perspective

While the news of your child wanting to live with the other parent can prove devastating, try to exercise empathy. Think about how the divorce affected your daughter, her perspective of herself and how she views her parents. Try to see the situation from your child’s perspective before you openly express or share your initial reaction.

Consider the deeper meaning

Could it be that your child wants to live with the other parent because she can stay up later, does not have to do as many chores or feels more at ease with your ex? While you do not necessarily have to completely change how you run your household while your daughter lives with you, a few tweaks and adjustments could meet every’s needs.

Keep the lines of communication open between your daughter and your ex-spouse. Making the right decision becomes easier when the three of you work together.