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My husband and I are separated and share custody of our 15 year old daughter. For the past 4 months, she alternated weeks with me in a near by apartment and with her father in the house she grew up in. My husband recently decided to move out of state and I will now how full custody. My husband has asked if I would like to move back into the house with our daughter, since he will no longer be living there. I have presented this to my daughter and she told me in no uncertain terms that she does NOT want to move into the house, although she offered no reason for feeling that way. She got a little angry with me when I asked her if she was sure. I am now hearing from my son that she told her father that she does not want to move into the house because she believes that I don't want to move. Moving back to that house does not really appeal to me as it was very unhappy there. However, I would make it work if that is what my daughter wants. I'm just not sure how to get at what she is really feeling so I can do what is most comfortable for her. I am looking for suggestions on how to approach her on this. Thanks!


Mike Mastracci Replied: As you know, 15 is a tough age and it is often difficult to know where teenagers are coming from. I would see if there is a guidance counselor or family counselor that could talk to her alone, you alone and then you two together. If her dad is moving out of state, where else would she go if not there if that is where you move? Should she really be given that much control to dictate where you live? Explain all the reasons why it makes sense regardless of who wants what. I conversation starter might be to say that you have been thinking about what dad has offered and that you think that it is a thoughtful thing for him to offer and that you are happy with it and maybe that could open it up for further discussion. I hope that helps. All the best. Mike
Posted On 2010-04-21 22:30:16
Jack Marcellus Replied: These situations are so tough on kids. It should suffice to say that she is clearly not comfortable living in that house. There could be any number of reasons why. Take the hint that the vibe is not right for that house and start fresh. Perhaps some of the root causes for her anxiety will come out over time but it seems clear this is not the place she wants to be.
Posted On 2010-01-17 13:09:57
Ashley Hammond Replied: It is very understandable that certain places hold bad memories and that this would influence a persons feelings in this matter. Two thoughts come to mind. 1. "If" financially another alternative exists then explore this and sit with your daughter and explain how you feel. 2. If moving back into the old house is the only financial option then it is crucial to remind your daughter AND reassure her that yes there my have been some tough times in the house but it is also a place where many great things happened such as times spent with her and her brother. Going out to a neutral venue for lunch and discussing good old times is often fun and should be done regarldess of this type of situation. As parents we are willing to sacrifice much for our children and you are to be commened for doing this as I am sure it is hard. Talking with your daughter is crucial and this will put her at ease as you transition back to the old residence. additionally a "cleansing" is a good idea. Hold a paint party and spruce the place up! move the furniture all over the place so that it feels like a new home and change the rooms that you "traditionally" watched TV in etc... Good Luck.
Posted On 2010-01-10 08:32:43
Sondra Drahos Replied: Your daughter is not going to be able to express right now what would truly make her happy since, in most cases, children would choose to live with both parents as one happy family if it were up to them. Young adults, especially, have a difficult time sharing their feelings with their parents since they often feel as though their opinion doesn't matter (chances are you didn't ask her opinion when you separated from her father). As difficult as the situation is for everyone involved, letting her know how YOU feel is the most important thing. Remind her that you'll always be there for her no matter what your address is and that you will be there for her when she's ready to share her thoughts and feelings with you. It may help to find another trusting adult whom she can talk to who is both neutral and supportive of her needs. If you are happy and comfortable with this transition, it will be much easier for her to accept the new lifestyle and living arrangement so take care of yourself and she will follow your lead.
Posted On 2010-01-07 20:21:54
Charlie Seymour Jr Replied: It feels to me (and I have no particular knowledge in this area) that if you daughter feels so strongly that she does NOT want to move in there, you shouldn't. She may feel very protective of you. She must have known (I'm assuming) that you weren't happy in there and might be afraid that if after moving you find the pain too great, you won't want to stay there... disrupting your lives all over again. Unless there's a really strong reason why you WANT to move in there, if feels to me that your daughter is saying "no." And just because she told your former husband one thing, doesn't mean that's how she really believes - I'd follow her ACTIONS and not the words she told someone else.
Posted On 2010-01-07 19:34:03
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