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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 10-16-2019, 04:10 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Default What do you guys do when the child refuses to go to the other parent's home?

What do you guys do when your kid(s) is (are) having a bad day and refuses to go to the other parent's home?

I'm talking strategies to make them go.

I'm not asking about how to get them out of the parenting time. That's not my question. I'm assuming the kid SHOULD be going (just like school, the doctors, etc etc etc) I just want to know what you guys say- or do. What's the game plan?
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Old 10-16-2019, 04:11 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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My situation:

D3 generally likes going to her dad's place. Never has been an issue getting her to go...until today.

Today is just a bad day for her. Meltdown after meltdown. I don't think it has anything to do with her dad. It's just today.

My mom picks her up 1/2 day from pre-school and her dad picks her up for the afternoon at 2:30. She refused today. Like full out kicking and screaming- and screeching. She is not a toddler that tantrums for no reason. She's willful, but generally a good listener.

Her dad tried for an hour- she wasn't having it. My car is in the shop or else I could've gone home to help facilitate the exchange. My mom tried taking her out to his car. Giving her the ipad. Her dolls. In short- my mom was trying too. she just was almost hyperventilating that she didn't want to go.

I offered up Friday afternoon as a makeup- and she can spend a bit longer. He, thankfully, accepted.

This worked out today...but in general, I wonder what you guys are doing IF your kid refuses to go to the other parents home. I'd be especially grateful on any tips dealing with very little ones.
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Old 10-16-2019, 04:28 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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She’s 3. She will have melt downs and get upset. Your ex was reasonable and worked in her interest.

I wouldn’t worry too much over it. She will grow out of it.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:52 PM
calvinfive calvinfive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
What's the game plan?
lol. She's too young. She's not quite 12 yet.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:35 AM
tilt tilt is offline
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Ya, I wouldn’t worry about it. The compromise was a good idea as it demonstrated you weren’t trying to interfere with his parenting (bonus - you get some free time on Friday!)

I think it sounds like she went from your house to school, then back to your house and then supposed to go to daddy’s house and then back to your house - all in one day. That is a lot for a little kid. That’s a lot of back-and-forth even for an adult! It would have been better for her to be picked up right from school by him; even if it meant staying at school later or him leaving work earlier. If you can indentify other days that are busy maybe adjust the schedule to minimize the multiple-transitions-in-a-day problem.

The days are long but the years are short. It is hard when you are a n the weeds with little ones but this too shall pass.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:18 AM
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As Justice Quinn stated in Gerenia v. Harb:

Quote:
Undoubtedly, there are many tasks that a child, when asked may find unpleasant to perform. But ask we must and perform they must. A child who refused to go on an access visit should be treated by the custodial parent the same as a child who refused to go to school or otherwise misbehaves. The job of a parent is to parent.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:26 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
As Justice Quinn stated in Gerenia v. Harb:
Yes, I know that. lol.

What I was looking for is actual techniques- e.g. offer incentives, wait 30 minutes and try again? Leave and let the other parent try? (e.g. remove myself from the situation) etc...she's never not wanted to go to school or the doctors. If she started hyperventilating if I was trying to take her somewhere- I would just sit with her until she calmed down. And I would try again- then I would give up going for that day.

It's somewhat trite to say "what would you do if they didn't want to go to school?"

Of course most parents would try to make the kid go to school. What does that look like though? Physically putting them in the car against their will? It's not a particularly easy question. And it would be nice if we all had the time to work on it- and get the kid to go, but sometimes people don't have that option. D3 was a pain in the ass to my mother this morning and I said I'll go to work late so I can calm her down and basically read her the riot act for her behaviour. She was tired the day she didn't want to go with her dad. There was no point in trying to force it. I put her to bed early and am taking her extra early today to his place for dinner.

Tilt- thank you for the suggestion. I have asked her dad what he thinks about changing the pickup situation so he picks her up directly from school instead of the the additional transition from school to my home to his home. He kind of wants to stick to our schedule and that's not supposed to start until January of next year. I get that- stick with the agreement. I'm just trying to make things easier on D3? And maybe the solution is that it's just going to be hard until she adapts?
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:36 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Default What do you guys do when the child refuses to go to the other parent's home?

I wouldn’t put a child four or under in the same category as forcing a child to go to school. Anyone who has ever had to deal with a tired, irritable, emotionally spent toddler will understand just how difficult it is to fight with them. Let them cry it out and deal with it then. Plus iona wasn’t withholding the child which also takes it out of the “force them to go” category. Kid could have just as much difficulty leaving dads house on one of his days.

She will adapt and get used to it. Just like five year olds get used to going to kindergarten every day and like kids grow out of tantrums and learn to express their emotions.

If kid was say 7 and refused to go, then I would say “who is the parent and who is the child”.

P.S. I will never understand why parents choose to take their kids to stores at lunch time and/or nap time. I have no children but still understand the “devil’s time” that is that window of extreme meltdown.
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Old 10-18-2019, 02:08 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is offline
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I feel like a child that young really doesn’t have a choice... I mean if we have to leave a store and my 2 year old is having a fit, well I pick her up, carry her to the vehicle, strap her in her seat and off we go. There really isn’t an option. No words are really required other than “you’re okay but this is what we are doing”... it should be the same in this situation. Put child in the seat, buckle up and go. As you said, she was tired and went to bed early... Dad could have put child down to bed or for a nap. Kids have fits all the time and the key is not to react. Not to try and reason (they don’t understand you), but you need to continue on. Daycare, Drs appointments, other parents house, etc, they don’t have choice.


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Old 10-18-2019, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
It's somewhat trite to say "what would you do if they didn't want to go to school?"
Not really. It is actually a very apt comparison.

If your child refused to go to school, would you offer incentives? Offhand, that seems like a bad plan, because it makes it seem like school is optional. Kid is going to school, that is not negotiable.

Would I wait 30 minutes and try again? No, school starts at 8am or whatever time it does for your child. You don't get to walk in 30 minutes late, school starts now.

Would I leave it and let the other parent try? No, I'm the parent, it is my job to get this done. Kid is going to school, I'm not passing the buck to the other parent.

I think in almost all cases, it is reasonable to say "what would I do if the kid refused to go to school?". If your proposed solution to a parenting time refusal would be ridiculous in the context of going to school, then it is equally ridiculous in the context of a parenting time refusal.

The only difference is that going to school is objectively good, whereas for many parents going to the other parent is a conditional good, or an outright bad.
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