Is there anything more heartbreaking to a parent than having a child that does not want to see or be with them? This is actually a very common occurrence in divorces and breakups, as children will sometimes hold one parent directly responsible for the divorce or split. It is important to be very careful in what you say and how you act as the child will pick up on negativity. A visitation schedule that works for your ex and your child will help get things on the right track.
Find Out If There Is A Problem With The Visitation Schedule For Your Child
Sometimes a child does not want to spend time with one of the parents for a variety of reasons. The child may believe that one parent is at fault for the split. Another reason could be because one parent is always “Mr. Nice Guy” and the child views the other parent as the disciplinarian. It is important to work together, as parents, to set uniform discipline standards and rules for the children to live by even though the parents are now living in different homes. Setting up a visitation schedule that makes your kids happy is not an easy thing to do, but there are ways to ensure your kids are excited to see you.
When faced with a child that does not want to visit you during your scheduled time, follow these steps:
1. Ask “Why Does My Child Not Want to See Me?” You may be making something out of nothing. At a young age, something such as a friend’s birthday party will probably take priority over spending time with mom or dad. It is very important to establish the reason for the refusal before overreacting to it.
2. How Do You Feel? Your feelings are just as important as your child’s when this happens, so recognize the feelings you are having when the news is delivered. Are you actually happy the child does not want to come and see you? This may be something he or she has noticed and feels unwanted in your home. Are you angry simply because your ex is seemingly your child’s favorite?
3. Talk to Your Child. Once you have your facts straight, sit down with your child for a quick chat. If it something as simple as a birthday party, maybe you can take him or her instead of your ex. This would actually be a great opportunity for you to bond further with your child. But, be ready for more serious reasons, such as the child simply has not made any friends in your neighborhood and does not like to go there.
4. Don’t Skirt the Issue. If you are the parent with whom the child wants to stay and have been told this by the child, you should encourage the child to discuss the matter with your ex. This is especially true for older children. If the child feels uncomfortable addressing the issue with your ex, role playing the conversation may help ease his or her nerves. For your child’s well-being,
5. Have a Talk with Your Ex. If you know the problem, it may be best to address the problem with your ex before or after your child does. However, you need to be careful how you present the situation so it does not come off as though you are trying to take over the situation. It should come off as being concerned about the relationship you both have with your children and that you want to work together so both parents remain active in the child’s life.
Denying Visitation is a Big No-No
One final thing to keep in mind is that denying visitation, (or not forcing your child to follow the visitation schedule as ordered by the court), can make you into the bad guy and get you into trouble with the judge. When a parent denies visitation, or does enforce a visitation schedule. that parent can be held in contempt of court, and in some states, may have even committed a crime!