What to Do When your Children Don’t Want to Visit Your Ex
Updated: Mar 17
Has this ever happened to you before? You have your kid(s) all packed up ready to go over to your ex’s place. The kids are complaining they don't want to go, maybe even crying or throwing a tantrum giving you every excuse as to why they want to stay with you and not go visit their other parent(s).
It starts to eat at your heart and conscience. “Is it really that bad over there?” “ Is something wrong?” “What do I do?”
As a mother who co-parents, I can raise my hand and say this for sure has happened to me, and the first thing I want us all to do in this situation is to take a deep breath. As a Lawyer, but more importantly, as a mom who also has had the exact thing happen to her, there are things you can do to make this situation better, and to make sure you are not making the situation worse.
Chances are, and you may not want to hear this, but things are actually fine at the other parent’s place. And, most likely, the child is doing/saying/acting the exact same in front of the other parent when it is time to come back to you. Why would a child do that?
During separations and co-parenting, kids feel stuck in the middle. They don't know how to communicate love to both parents, or even just the feelings they have being stuck between the two, living in two separate homes.
Here are some tips to determine if this is actually the case, and that life at your ex’s house isn’t really that bad.
Tip One: Tell the child about what you are doing while they are away. This way, (even if you are home, crying and missing them), they feel like you are okay.
Tip Two: Communicate to your child that you are unavailable. By saying, “Mom is going to be in business meetings”, or “shopping for groceries”, or “at the gym”, the child knows you are busy, living life, and okay, and will be less likely to call you crying to come home. Tip Three: If the behaviour does not change over a few weeks, then there may be something going on, in which case, you can move into a different direction.
As a co-parenting mother myself, and being a part of many parenting groups, I know that this can tug at your heart strings, and that you are not alone in this. If your children’s best interests are at heart, then you know that they truly love both parents, and time with each is oftentimes the best solution.
After reading this, do you still have concerns? Feel free to contact our Family Law Team at Angle Law, Niagara Falls, ON for a consultation. P: 905-322-1350 or contact us here.
Lauren M. Angle Family Lawyer, Founder of Angle Law Firm, Niagara Falls, ON Mom