It may seem far-fetched to imagine that a child would want to divorce their parents, and it is probably an especially absurd notion for your own situation. After all, you know how much you personally love your little one and how much you have devoted to your child. However, some children have tried to divorce their parents, and in some cases, they have been successful at doing so. There was even a feature film, Irreconcilable Differences, that told the story of a child divorcing their parents. If you discover that your child wants to divorce you, here is what you should do.
Figure Out the Seriousness of the Threat
Most children who may be dramatic and claim that they want to divorce their parents are not serious. It is like kids who claim to hate their parents when what they really want to do is beg for their parent to shower them with love in that moment. If your child seems serious in their quest to separate from you, ask the following open-ended questions:
- What exactly is making you unhappy in this situation?
- What are your plans for what would happen next?
- What can be done to help make this situation easier for you?
- You are clearly mad. What is causing you frustration about our relationship?
Try these or other open-ended questions to get your child to open up about their feelings. The more you know about the issues at hand, the easier It will be to solve them.
See Your Attorney
If your child is speaking about divorcing you out of the blue, they may be receiving false information about you from an ex-spouse or even bitter ex-in-laws. Consult resources like Gomez May LLP about the next steps you should take if your child seems serious in pursuing a divorce from you or even from both their parents. The situation may not be as serious as it seems, but it is a good idea to get advice from a lawyer who can let you know what to expect if things do escalate.
Start Family Therapy
Big problems that lead to such serious requests as a child divorcing their parents don't exist in a bubble. Even if the root of the problem is the fact that a vindictive relative is trying to poison the child's mind against you, a child won't come to that conclusion easily. When you go to family therapy, you can work on issues that you both may have and solve problems in communication. When your child feels safe and happy at home, they are likely to drop the issue of wanting to divorce their parent.
Finally, keep in mind that this can be a sign of something that's troubling your child outside of the relationship that you share with them. They may be taking frustration out on you because you are the person they trust the most. If your child makes any threats of divorce at all, take them seriously, and be sure to examine how your child is being treated in every aspect of their life.