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Dealing with a child who objects to your parenting arrangement

Maryland residents who have recently undergone a divorce and solidified their custody agreements with their ex-spouses are likely to find that their children are fully cooperative with their new living arrangements, tired of their parents' conflict and relieved to start enjoying a less stressful life. However, some children of divorce may eventually rebel against child custody agreements that they feel to be controlling their lives. The issues involved in splitting time between two parents and households can become especially problematic for teenaged children whose social plans are disrupted by their custody arrangements.

While it is often impossible to completely neutralize a child's problems with their living situation, mindful parents can take certain steps to help their children adapt to and accept their parents' child custody arrangements and parenting schedules.

It is particularly important for divorced parents to adjust their attitudes in order to place their children first. They should try to center their parenting time around their child's life rather than their own. This may mean sacrificing one-on-one time with one's child in order to allow them to spend time with friends or pursuing their interests, a prospect that can seem frightening or unfair for some parents. However, allowing a child to enjoy his or her life with as few custody-related disruptions as possible helps ensure a more positive parent-child relationship.

Parents who move away following their divorce should also be prepared for their child to resist the move. One's child may become angry, sad or otherwise upset when they are forced to travel away from the familiar friends, neighborhood and home that make them feel comfortable. Post-divorce parents should try not to take this as a personal insult, but rather make efforts to accommodate their child's needs or desires while still maintaining a close and meaningful relationship.

Source: Huffington Post, "Hell No: I Won't Go," Edward D. Farber, Feb. 9, 2013

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