I am presently going through a divorce and my soon to be ex and I share custody of my two year old son. I am writing because he has started biting and I think it’s because of the time he spends at this father’s house. His father doesn’t pay attention to him nor does he spend any time with him, so I think my son is angry and has started biting. What can I do? Can I use this to get the court to give me full custody?
Dear Concerned Mom,
Your son is two and unfortunately, biting is a very common behavior. It is most likely not the fault of his father not paying enough attention nor the change in his living situation due to the divorce. Yes, it’s true that your son will feel the discord and unhappiness between his parents and he may act out in ways he didn’t prior to the separation. Usually, children respond to the conflict in the relationship more than the dissolution of the marriage or relationship in and of itself. Children have the right to have relationships with both of their parents and shouldn’t have to choose.
Losing the primary relationship you had with your husband is emotionally challenging and just plain hurts. Everyone goes through the stages of grief and loss in some form or another and it’s important to find support for yourself during this time. Try to not focus on the other parent and his behaviors and turn your attention to yourself and feeling better. If you feel better and in a healthier state of body and mind, you’ll find it’s easier to show up for your son in the ways he needs. Asking the court for full custody will not lesson your pain or any of the feelings you have toward your ex-husband. Focus your positive and healthy energy on you and your son!