When you look at your teen, you realize all the changes that he’s going through. It’s difficult as his mother to think about how you’re going to walk him through puberty on your own in your home.
Separating and divorcing your child’s father doesn’t mean he’s not available for him. In fact, he indicated that he’d like your child to live with him more regularly. His concern was that your son might not be comfortable enough talking to you about changes in his body or relationships as he would be with another guy.
Is he right? Should parents like yourself encourage your teen to live with the other parent more often because they’re the same gender?
Boys with fathers in their lives do better
It’s known that there is a direct correlation between a father’s behavior and how his son acts. It’s also known, based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Education, that adolescents who spend time with their fathers are more likely to earn all A’s (at a rate of around 40%).
That doesn’t necessarily mean that all teen boys should go live with their fathers. However, there is a positive correlation to better grades and better emotional stability if they are in a home where their father is respectful of their mother and encouraging hard work in their education.
Psychologically, and in a sense physically, it may make sense to have your child live with their father throughout puberty, especially if you and their father still have a respectful relationship. It’s true that there are physical changes and social challenges that could arise. Other men may be able to handle those questions, and your son might not be as comfortable asking a woman for her opinion.
At the same time, it’s reasonable to ask for a parenting plan where you have custody half of the time, too. There’s no reason that both you and your child’s father shouldn’t be active in his life.
It’s up to parents to decide what’s best for their children. If you and your ex-spouse feel that a good option is to have your ex-husband be your child’s primary custodian, then do that. Otherwise, you do have a right to seek a fair share of custody time, just as your child’s father does.