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Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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Last night I made a promise to my 12 year old son which I cannot

Customer Question

Last night I made a promise to my 12 year old son which I cannot keep.
He telephoned me having had a row with his mother. I immediately took his side without consulting with her (we are separated).
He asked if he could come and live with me. I said yes IF his mother agreed. He asked me to promise. I said yes. He said I could pick him up after school.
I do not think it is in his best interests to move in with me. I do not think his mother would agree to him moving. Tonight i will let him down and I know that he will be crushed.
I know that this is my fault. I know that I will lose his trust. How can I undo what I have done without devastating him? I just want him to be happy.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,
I seems like you have learned a lesson which will serve you in the future. That is, be a good listener when your son is upset but make major decisions with mother's input. I know your question is what to say now. How about something like this:

"I make a mistake by making a major decision without consulting your mother. The fact is that it would not be best for you to live with me at this time (as much as I would love to have you with me). So the adults decision is that we cannot do this at this time." This response will show him that the adults are in charge (which will be a relief to him) and that you have his best interest in mind. Down deep inside, he probably knows that this is the best decision and will be glad.

I hope this helps