You’ve been through a divorce, and your teenage daughter lives with her other parent. Your visitation rights have worked until now. While having your daughter over on weekends is not as good as seeing her every day, you both make the best of it. Then one Friday, the other parent phones you to say your daughter does not want to spend the weekend with you in Fairfield.
Emotions come flooding into your head: Did I do something wrong? Is she being turned against me? Am I a boring parent for a teenage girl? Does she not love me? Here are some steps you can take to solve the situation:
- Stop and think: You are probably confused and distressed — not the best time to make decisions.
- Talk with your daughter: Ask her why she does not come. Listen to her side of things. She may or may not tell you the real reason; it depends on the relationship you have.
- Talk to the other parent: Maybe your daughter tells them things she will not tell you. It could be to avoid hurting you. It could be because they are scared of how you might react.
- Look at it from her point of view: You may love your parents, but that does not mean you want to spend every weekend with them. Is missing one weekend a big issue?
- Reassure your daughter: Tell your daughter you understand, and it is okay this time. Make sure she knows you still want to see her, and that you will see her next weekend.
Like anything involving relationships, communication is critical. You have to consider the feelings of various people, your daughter, yourself and the other parent. Open communication can solve most problems, but if you are having continual problems with your child custody arrangements and visitation rights, you may want to seek advice.