Adjusting to visitation after a divorce can be more than even the most mature, well-grounded kid can manage. If they balk at shuttling between your home and your ex’s residence, problems may loom up ahead.
Your youngster may be stubborn about heading to your former partner’s home for a lot of reasons. They may chafe at having stern discipline imposed. Maybe being obstinate is the only way they know to show their unhappiness with the divorce. The child might be mad at one or both of you.
Accepting the fact that Mom and Dad will never be a blissful twosome again can be too painful to face. Going from one parent’s home to the other makes this reality impossible to ignore.
If this situation persists, there could be legal difficulties at some point for the parent who has custody.
Helping your child navigate through a challenging time
There is no quick, magic answer to this problem. Addressing it requires forbearance, as well as compassion. You should:
- Make the process of going from one home to the other pleasant and non-stressful.
- Listen sympathetically if your child tells you why they are skittish about visitation.
- Remember that as tough as the divorce is for you, it can feel exponentially harder for your youngster.
- Gently remind your child that they will always have a relationship with their other parent. Spending time with them is still important because it nurtures that relationship.
If needed, a professional therapist can provide some fresh ideas and objective advice.
Things can get better
Your child is upset and you are still adjusting to being single. Things do improve, though. While you are helping your youngster adjust to visitation, be sure you adhere to your co-parenting agreement.