Tuesday, July 13, 2010

12 year old wants to move?

Questioner: April

Subject: 12 Year old daughter wants to move in with Father

Question: My 12 year old daughter lives with me,step-dad, and her brother. Her biological father lives in NC and we live in GA. Its a long story but the main thing is that the Biological father didn't even want her and the only reason he came into the picture when she was four is because since he kept denying her, I went through child support enforcement who found him and made him to a DNA test and he was the father.

Ever since then he gets what he wants when it comes to her. He gets her the normal GA visitation standards and does pay his child support. Even though he didn't want her and left me when I was 3 months pregnant, I think he does really love her now.

Well, I didn't have a good relationship with my mom so I do everything in my power to make my daughter happy. It is very hard since we don't have much money. When she is at her fathers, she gets to do what she wants, when she wants and with who she wants. When she is home, she is in reality and has to do homework, listen to parents and of course we don't get to have that much fun with her like they do cause we are too busy doing the parenting.

She came home last night from Physical Therapy and said she wanted to move to NC so she could try the school out up there and just try out her options. Well, I was heartbroken, I wanted to die. I tried and do try so hard and I never saw it coming. I don't know what to do. Why would she want to go live someone who didn't want her and I do everything for her.

My husband who has been in the picture way longer than her father tried to talk to her to explain to her that the grass is not greener on the other side and just because she does everything she wants now when she goes up to NC doesn't mean it will stay that way especially since they have a 1 1/2 yr old and now they are pregnant again and it will be due in April.

I asked her who put this crap in her head but she just says she wants to try the school out only till the rest of the school year. She makes all A's here and is in the BETA club. Our schools are better than where the father lives and I want her to have a great education so she will be successful!!! I don't know what to do! She is not thinking. Why???? She is very smart and she is making a very wrong decision!! Why would she does this and what should I do? She is not even a teen yet!!!

Answer: Dear April,

The rationale your 12 year old daughter doesn't sound like the rational of a 12 year old girl. I don't know of too many 12 year olds who want to move and leave their friends. I think you need to let go of the past and try and focus on the present. What is going on that she is asking you to move. What are her reasons? I can't imagine a 12 year old who is doing so well in school wanting to move to another state and leave her friends behind. There is more to this story than meets the eye.

Next, she is 12 I don't think there are too many states that let a 12 year old choose. Have you thought about just saying let me think about it? Have you thought about saying let's talk about this when you are 14 or 16? Sometimes delaying things is the best option. In the meantime make sure you are parenting a 12 year old. I she allowed to have privileges of a 12 year old girl. If she is doing so well in school and she is not being allowed to have the life of a 12 year old maybe what she is telling you is that she needs some space. I am not there so I don't know what is going on between you and her. Many parents get caught up in trying to outdo the other parent and often to the child's demise.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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