Ideally, Tennessee residents who have divorced and who are now co-parenting their children would move seamlessly into the situation, even when one has physical custody and the other has visitation. However, when children resist visitation with a non-custodial parent, the relationship can become complicated. While it might seem unsolvable, there are several ways parents can work towards resolving the issue.
Figure out the reason for the problem
There are several reasons why a child resists visitation with a parent. Some of them include:
• A young child being afraid to spend time away from their custodial parent
• A child feeling lonely when they are with the non-custodial parent
• An older child feeling like they are missing out on social events when they visit with the non-custodial parent
• A child being manipulated or subjected to Parental Alienation Syndrome
• A child assuming they need to take the side of one parent in the divorce conflict to protect that parent’s emotions
Work towards resolving the problem
In many cases, the resolution to the problem will require understanding and patience on the part of the parent the child is refusing to see. Additionally, both parents should talk to the child about the situation, reassuring the child of their love and support and encouraging the child’s bond with each other. In extreme cases where there one parent is engaging in parental alienation, the other parent might need to seek professional mental health support for the whole family and even legal help to resolve the issue.
While working together after the divorce might be challenging for parents, the focus should be on the children’s well-being. Parents should remember that children are hurt the most when their parents continue attacking each other and that in most cases, children need both parents involved in their upbringing.