Originally Posted by offwing
I think everyone is missing the point.
Why for gosh sake are a bunch of little kids making the decision not to visit their father? Why do they have that kind of power and authority? Your DH should go over, pick them up saying "Of course you are coming, I'm your father." Period.
Perhaps OT, but the above blanket statement is a little scary to me. And, yes, this does come from a place of bad childhood memories, so I'll add that as a caveat. My parents divorced when I was four. I was a total mama's girl until I was about 12. I did NOT like being away from my mother. It scared me and made me sad.
This was compounded by the fact that my father was very absent, lived in another city and saw and spoke with me rarely and then would expect that I would just go away for entire weekends with him. Should my mom have allowed my father to MAKE me go with him with no compromises? I don't think so.
Now to be back on topic, I realize these children are older, the situation is different, and they are "withholding" visits out of anger, not fear. But, these children didn't choose the situation they are in. They have every right to be angry if they want to be. (I'm not saying the situation warrants anger, but, if they feel it, that is their right). Instead of playing the parent card and telling them they HAVE to spend time with you, (because, really, that's gonna be a fun weekend for all, isn't it), I think some apologies and explanations and compromises are in order, not parental decrees or enforced visits. I realize that the OP did not actually suggest this, but I felt the need to respond to a previous post.
And, finally, a parent's financial support of their child should in no way EVER be tied to how often they visit you!