Divorced parents often have very different perspectives about what their children want or need.
A short time ago two parents in my court were debating whether their 5-year-old son should fly unescorted between Phoenix and Albuquerque for visitation. The mother said, "He hates to fly." The father said, "He loves to fly." I said, "Are you talking about the same little boy?"
When I asked the mother what made her think her son hated flying she said, "Because he told me so." The father noted that's how he too had got his information. The child had told his father that he loved flying.
A child telling each of his parents different things is a common occurrence in divorce cases. Sometimes children do this to manipulate their parents, but more often the child's goal isn't manipulation or deceit; the child's goal is to make each of the parents happy.
Children are remarkably astute at figuring out what grownups want to hear, especially their parents. One way to make a parent happy is to tell each of them what they want to hear.
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by Honorable Anne Kass.
For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/