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Parenting Our Kids
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by Julie Martin
(Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

My ten year old son has been showing me a lot of attitude recently, and it seems to be right after he comes to my house from his father's house, as we share joint custody.

Usually, we are able to talk things through and then it happens again the next time he comes to me from my ex husband's house. I have tried talking to my ex husband about this but he hems and haws and says its because I am the "Fun Parent" while he is the "Disciplinarian" and then tells me that our son does not regard me as an authority figure.

I think it is that my ex husband does not regard me as an authority figure and this comes through to my son somehow. How do I handle this?

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This is actually quite common with children. Even kids who are going to friends overnight sometimes come back with an attitude.

In fact my 8 year old does the same on her return from school.
This may be because they have difficulties adjusting to the change in authority and boundaries.

I would try to keep talking it through with your son. Tell him it is not acceptable to you and upsets you.
Be consistent, try not to let it affect you being your usual self with him.

Try not to let it get between you and your ex as this will make things more awkward.

How does your son feel about you and your ex husband?
Could it be that he is finding the situation difficult?
Try reading our article about loss.

I hope this helps.

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