Family dynamics are always difficult, but they can become even more so when a divorce occurs. Many children in this situation feel torn between their parents. Some children blame one parent for the situation. Emotions can run high. When this happens, children may refuse to visit their non-custodial parent. This leaves the custodial parent in a sticky situation.
According to The Spruce, letting a child refuse visitation can lead to legal issues, so a parent should always try to find out why the child has these feelings. This may involve just talking with the child to get to the heart of the issue or talking with the child’s other parent to determine what may be wrong or find a solution. It should be a group effort to figure things out and remedy the situation because the court expects that both parents will be involved in the child’s life.
Family Education reports that when a child refuses to visit their other parent, it can also be good for each parent to reflect on their roles and how they could have affected the decision. Both parents should look at their own behaviors to see if they could have done or said something to discourage the child from participating in visitation. The custodial parent should make a point to assure the children that going for visitation is okay and he or she wants them to have time with their other parent. The non-custodial parent should look at what happens when the child comes to visit to make sure he or she is spending enough time with them and making it an enjoyable experience.