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Author Topic: children refusing to visit  (Read 7998 times)

lawless

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children refusing to visit
« on: Jan 30, 2006, 01:11:50 PM »
2 teenage girls refusing to visit Dad.  Wondering if anyone has been to court to enforce visitation when it is the children who are refusing.  The BM says that she "encourages" them to go but will not force them.

Lawless


angel

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RE: children's refusal to visit
« Reply #1 on: Jan 31, 2006, 08:31:12 AM »
Wow, that's a tough situation. I have no legal advice, but do have a personal opinion.  

First of all, I can certainly understand the father's desire to see his children. It would be my advice as a mother (who certainly feels that it's in the best interest of the children to have a father in their life and to know that he loves his child/ren) for him to stop (at this time) trying to force/enforce actual parental time.  

The daughters are going to the extremes to make sure they do NOT have contact with dad, so he'll just end up making them hate him worse by trying to force them at this point. If I were him, I wouldn't want to risk further alienation.

I think at this point that Dad would get better results if he let his daughters know (through a letter, email, or phone call) that he can understand how the divorce was hard on them, and that he would love to see them, but he's not going to force them into doing what they don't want to do, and that he still loves them just as much as he ever did, and that whether they ever respond in return is up to them, but to please at least allow him to do things like send birthday cards/gifts, letters, email, etc.

If he continues to do this while all the while not putting down his ex in anyway, he has a better chance of winning them over than the way it's going now.

There's an old saying -- "You can lead a horse to water, but you CAN not make him drink", and I think that statement certainly fits this case, as unfortunate as that may be.  Also remember, that he'll draw more flies with honey than he will with vinegar, which is what would be required right now toward his ex wife to MAKE the visitations happen.

I have a bit of personal knowlege about how a child can have feelings of acrimony toward a father, (it happened with my son toward his dad because he felt his Dad had hurt me) and I know how hatred and rebelliousness can become worse over time if not handled with love and understanding, and in this situation, it may just be Dad who's going to have to give up what he most desires for the best interest of his children at the moment.  

I wish all of you the best of luck, and certainly hope that one day there's a breakthrough.   Please remember these statements are only my personal opinion, and I'm sure there are many who would disagree with me.  

P.S. To clarify my statement on having a bit of personal experience with this-- what may sound kind of odd, is that it was me who kept trying to make my ex and my son realize that they needed each other, as NEITHer of them showed any interest in seeing each other for two years. Happily in my son's case, it has all worked out, they see each other regularly now, and son and father do it gladly, whereas before, neither would have. So sometimes "time" itself can have healing properties.



lawless

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RE: children's refusal to visit
« Reply #2 on: Jan 31, 2006, 03:45:33 PM »
Angel,  Thank you for your response but it is truly contrary to all documented literature regarding this issue.  We have done extensive reading and it is clear that teenagers should not be making these decisions and that they need a father in their lives (especially teenage girls).  The alienation has already happened, it can't get worse.  I was hoping for a response from a professional who specializes in parental alienation.

I am also a mother of 2 teenagers and I disagree with allowing them to make adult decisions.  When parents are together, we don't allow our teenagers to refuse to see or talk to one of the parents...Why would we allow this in a divorce situation?  As I said in my letter, we have already seen the results of one of the girls who is acting out in a stereotypical way.  Her safety is at stake and we will not give up on her.

The girls get constant reminders about how much their Dad loves them.  Please understand that we are not trying to force visitation just because the Dad wants it but because this is what is best for the girls.

Also, we have tried every avenue with the Mom including "honey" as you put it.  If it were only so simple as being nice to her and the girls, we certainly would not be in this position!

Thanks again but I don't agree at all.  I am sorry that your ex husband wasted those precious years.
Lawless

smofJ

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RE: children's refusal to visit
« Reply #3 on: Feb 01, 2006, 02:12:37 PM »
As a product of a divorced family, I would say I would lean toward Angel's advice.  I understand that you and your husband care about the safety of the girls.  But I'm afraid if you keep pushing you will lose them forever.  During the teenage years it is natural for a female to pull away from her father and want to be with friends more.  I think they may be using the divorce as an excuse.

My sister and I visited my father every weekend for quite sometime. Then my sister hit her teen years and was the first to rebel against dad and dad's more strict rules.  She stopped visiting when she was about 17.   I started to rebel at around 16. It wasn't so much that I didn't want to see my dad, because I spent little time with my mom either.  I just wanted to be with my friends.  Dad and I got in a big fight about him trying to make me stay there.  I left that night and didn't go back for anymore visitations. He started calling a couple of months after the fight and we put things behind us. I didn't have visitation with him anymore, But we would still go out to eat pizza and have birthday and Christmas's together.

I am now 28,  I have an awesome relationship with my dad.  We live in the same town and my son and I see him at least twice a week. And honestly I am probably more close to him than I am my mom.
I suggest you stop trying to force them to visit.  They my just be using the divorce for an excuse.  Call them on you weekend and ask them out for pizza or something like that.  Take them home afterwards if they want.  You may miss them now, but I'm sure you will reap the benefits later.

lawless

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RE: children's refusal to visit
« Reply #4 on: Feb 01, 2006, 03:05:35 PM »
I am removing this post.  The advice I have received is contrary to the premise of this site.  I am very disappointed by the continued prejudice against fathers.  If I had said that this was an alienated mother, the responses would be different.  We don't allow children to refuse to see or interact with one parent in a traditional family situation.  Why do we allow them to do this in a divorce situation?  Isn't this just letting the children run the show?  The research is clear that teenage daughters need a father's influence in their lives.  Mothers should be making sure that their children have this.  We can't just allow children to make these decisions because they want to be with their friends.   And in this case, their anger about the divorce is certainly not a front for more time with friends.  It is a real battle that the girls are fighting on behalf of their mother.  I am sorry that you missed out on 12 years with your father.  I am sure this influenced your life a great deal.  I believe that your mother was wrong to allow this to happen.  You probably even knew this at the time.

Again, we are not trying to enforce visitation because we "miss" the children.  This is what is best for them.  I am not interested in hearing about certain situations that worked out after 12 years.  And, OF COURSE, we are doing all of the things you have said.  These children are now at the point where there is NO CONTACT.  

Thanks anyway....


lawless

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RE: children's refusal to visit
« Reply #5 on: Feb 01, 2006, 03:16:30 PM »
This is the SPARC FAQ #22 My daughter has stated repeatedly that she does not want visitation with the non-custodial parent. Does she have this right?  
No, she doesn't have the right not to visit. The reason for this is that it isn't her decision to make- the court has ruled that visitation shall take place. The only person that can legally refuse visitation is the non-custodial parent. You should not be letting your daughter get involved in this; it's improper to allow a minor child to make these kinds of decisions.  

Ref

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Whoa nelly!
« Reply #6 on: Feb 01, 2006, 06:32:10 PM »
 First of all, the arguement that this site is prejudice against fathers is REDICULOUS! If you look at any critisism out there on this site is the direct opposite. You really need to settle down with that.

Secondly, there are many ways to look at this problem.  There is the legal way, which you have demonstrated in the prior post. There is the morally right way, which I am sure you have researched. Finally, there is the best way in the REAL WORLD.

I don't beleive that the prior posters were doing anything but offering advice based on real life experience. It may conflict with the legal and moral way of dealing with the issues, but it is sound advice when you are dealing with the real world.

I really wish you kept your original post. I just went through what I think is a very similar problem and may be able to help. I will give you some background and you and see for yourself if it is close to what you are dealing with.

My husband sees his daughter 6 times a year. SD has been fighting visitation ever since she started wearing a training bra. She was hearing from her mom that DH doesn't respect her wishes for visitation and how terrible it is that he is making her miss her friends. BM would send letters to SD saying how horribly difficult it must be for her to be here. SD eventually got so worked up that she started to refuse to come. She threatened to run away. She begged and cried and mad a terrible fuss. DH heart was ripped apart. It is one thing to hear evil spewing from BM but to hear this from his precious little girl, it was too much.

I went online and researched. I found that legally SD had to come. That felt good. I knew I had legal support. Then I read about importance of fathers in the lives of teen daughters and other psychological texts on the topic of fathers and daughters. Still, I was able to gather more power. Then, I realized what is DH to say to SD? You have to come because I have the legal right to see you. Well, DH did and SD rebutted "Yeah, mom said that if I don't come you will throw her butt in jail". That just made him look like a prick. What else could he say to her? "According to the American Journal of Psychology you will have better chances at emotional health if you send more time with me". He didn't even try that rediculous line.

DH lost his job and had several deaths in his family and could not bear to hear SD say that she didn't want to come. He limply told her that he was not going to see her for their time together and he will miss her. She was thrilled, which hurt him more. She came to the next visitation with absolutely NO problems at all. NONE. This was the first time in a year and a half of exhausting emotional throwdowns about this that she came up willingly and happily.

He did put his foot down several times with her. He told her that he knew that it wasn't what she wanted but they would talk about it and work out a way that both of they could be ok with her schedule with him. She had a hard time coming here and was very happy to leave, but when she was here, she was a pretty freaking happy kid.

Another thing I think helps is the internet. SD has email but BM has blocked us from her account. I got around this by opening an account on Livejournal.com. I post to my own webpage every few days with updates about what is going on here. When SD is bored she always checks in and many times posts a reply. We also use Shutterfly.com and post our pictures of times together there. This helps to remind her of the good times she has with us.

Teenagers are ALWAYS bored. Having these things gives them something to do and keeps them emotionally attached.

I hope you realize that many of us have had similar experiences and MAY give you advice you will not want to hear. Please take time to digest the advice that you find offensive and see if you can use it to help you in your situation.

Best Wishes

Ref

lawless

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RE: Whoa nelly!
« Reply #7 on: Feb 01, 2006, 07:25:21 PM »
Actually, here is what I said which supports that this site is NOT biased against fathers....

"The advice I have received is contrary to the premise of this site. I am very disappointed by the continued prejudice against fathers".

The ADVICE I received was biased, not the site so "Whoa" yourself.  I want to be very clear on that point.  I appreciate that this site is DEDICATED to equal treatment for mothers and fathers but some of the postings are contrary to this as they are obviously not screened.

Actually you and your husband agree with us and have done the exact same things that we have done.  The personality of the older daughter is such that we now have no contact, not by phone, e-mail, or visits (even though we continue to send love and thoughts via e-mail and phone messages) and the younger daughter has recently followed her sister's lead.  There is a different drama almost every day that is the current "reason" for our alienation.  All of them are fabricated and we are unable to defend ourselves due to the lack of contact.

I have most certainly been exposed to literally hundreds of people's "real world" opinions of this issue.   I would like to believe that in the "real world" we would try to do what is legally and morally correct.  Especially when it is also what is best for the children psychologically.   I was really looking for those who have been to court in this situation.  I would delete the post if I knew how as it seems that I have chosen the wrong "forum".....

Thanks for the input.  Your situation is very similar and it sounds like things have worked out for you quite well.  

Lawless

Brent

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RE: Whoa nelly!
« Reply #8 on: Feb 01, 2006, 07:58:31 PM »
I agree some of what you've said.

Everyone's situation is different and no one approach or solution is the "right" one for every problem or dilemma. I think some of your statements may have been taken out of context, but there is always room for interpretation.

I'd like to ask the rest of the posters to go back over what's been said by everyone involved, take a deep breath, and then see what you think.

Ref

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RE: Whoa nelly!
« Reply #9 on: Feb 02, 2006, 06:04:12 AM »
>Actually, here is what I said which supports that this site
>is NOT biased against fathers....
>
>"The advice I have received is contrary to the premise of this
>site. I am very disappointed by the continued prejudice
>against fathers".
>
>The ADVICE I received was biased, not the site so "Whoa"
>yourself.  I want to be very clear on that point.  I
>appreciate that this site is DEDICATED to equal treatment for
>mothers and fathers but some of the postings are contrary to
>this as they are obviously not screened.

I stand corrected and no this site doesn't screen opinions, just rude and offensive remarks.

>I have most certainly been exposed to literally hundreds of
>people's "real world" opinions of this issue.   I would like
>to believe that in the "real world" we would try to do what is
>legally and morally correct.  Especially when it is also what
>is best for the children psychologically.   I was really
>looking for those who have been to court in this situation.  I
>would delete the post if I knew how as it seems that I have
>chosen the wrong "forum".....

 You are right. I would be nice to beleive that we live in a world that is just and right, but we don't. Sometimes you just have to play the game as best you can with the hand you are delt.

Try Socreteaser's site for legal questions.

Good Luck
Ref

 

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