I have a 6 year old boy and a 7 year old girl. Since my divorce 3 years ago they see their father every other weekend. Last time they had a visit my daughter very forcefully decided she did not want to go b/c her father called her a boy and made fun of her new pixie haircut :/ he was kidding around but still not a real cool thing for him to do and it made her come home and cry to me. He did talk to her on the phone and apologize and she seemed OK with that but she skipped her visit last weekend and has again decided this weekend she doesnt want to go to his house for her visit. My feeling is to not force her and let her decide where she wants to be. My ex seems to be neutral on the whole thing but his mom thinks she shouldnt have the choice. I can understand where she is coming from b/c she just wants to see her but I really dont feel like she should be forced to go where she doesnt want to go. I think she'll come around eventually and want to go back one of these weekends.
Does anyone have experience with this and can offer advice? Thank you for reading :)
If these are court ordered visits then this can come back to bite you. Your ex can say if he wants her there but then turn around and say he felt alienated to the judge and felt forced to say he was okay with not seeing her. In fact I find it weird he does not choose to still be around her. Yea sure he apologized and it's great he wants his kids to know they have choices but he is still the adult and still needs to try to be the one to keep a relationship. I don't know...that is just my opinion.
For me yes I have forced my kid to go when he didn't want to because yes I knew it would bite me later on if I didn't. Every single time he ended up having a good time and being okay.
Thank you for the reply. I am going to see if maybe she will at least go to his mothers house and stay there, she lives in the same town as my ex and he will be able to go over there and see her and I'm sure my daughter will come around and forgive her dad.
The visitations are court ordered but I really don't think he could turn this around and get me in trouble. I'm not keeping her from him at all. In fact I'd love to see him put in some more effort in this whole thing and get involved with persuading her into the visit! He isn't very involved to begin with and doesn't make any decision or do things like parent teacher conferences, sports practices, lessons anything to that nature, seems content to just have his 4 days a month and let me do the majority of the actually kid raising. He doesn't pay child support or ever buy them anything except b-day/xmas presents so he doesn't have much of a leg to stand on if anything ever went to court in my opinion.
She shouldn't have a choice. You should make her go. How would you react if you and her got into a minor argument like this and she "chooses" to not see you for several days at at time, or to stay with her dad? She is too young to make this decision, and backing her on "choices" like this is frequently seen as alienating esp. if the visits are court-ordered.
My son is younger (3) but he didn't want to go to dad's the past few months-at first ex was ok with letting him stay with me (our dd still went with him, so I wasn't too worried about being accused of withholding just the one kid). Eventually, though ex started playing games about it and giving me a hard time, so I told ds he had to go. He still didn't want to, but did fine once he got to ex's...I'm still not sure what I would have done if he had been kicking and screaming.
My dd, who is 6, she sometimes wants to change the schedule around, but I've just explained that we have reasons for the schedule, and what they are, and that it's important to stick with it for now.
I think she, and your daughter, are old enough to deal with doing something they maybe aren't thrilled about-it sounds like your ex made a jerky comment, but I assume is otherwise not a terrible/dangerous person. I wished that ex had made more of an effort with ds when he didn't want to go as well, but in the end I was the one who had to talk ds into it, just like I end up being the one to explain to dd why we aren't changing the schedule since he just told them to talk to me about it!
It also seems like an important lesson in forgiveness-her dad said something hurtful, but did apologize. Does that happen a lot? If not, I think you should have a talk with your daughter about how she can't just avoid people who hurt her feelings-have her practice telling dad how she felt and then move on from it.