There are many reasons why a child may not want to follow the visitation plans that have been set up by either the courts or the parents.
Divorce or a breakup is often confusing to children and they may act out against the fact that their parents are no longer together.
A parent should always keep in mind that they are the adult and unless there is good reason, the non-custodial parent has parental visitation rights to see the child.
The first thing that a parent should do is sit down and talk with their child about why they are not comfortable with the visitation schedule. It may be a simple reason, such as the particular schedule cuts into after school activities or time with friends, especially if the custodial parent
If the concerns about the visitation are minor, then they may be able to be fixed with some rearrangement. However, the parent must take control and remind the child that the non-custodial parent loves them and has the right to exercise their parental visitation rights.
If something minor like boredom is the problem, the parents should discuss ways to combat this. The non-custodial parent can plan fun activities for the child that he or she can do together. Parental visitation rights exist for a reason.
The visitation schedule set up is supposed to be made with the needs of all parties in mind and allow each parent to share in the loving and raising of their children. Even the word visitation is rarely used anymore. The more recent coinage is a parenting plan.
While a child’s feelings about the visitation should be considered, they do not have the final say in the matter. If the parent allows the child to skip the visitation it is they, not the child, who can be in trouble with the family court. If the complaints that the child has about the visitation schedule are valid, then the child and both parents may want to sit down to discuss the situation.
The child might be angry at the parent or generally displeased with the visitation schedule. Getting the issues out in the open is always a good idea. It will also show the non-custodial parent that the custodial parent is not planting bad thoughts about them in the child’s head and that the parental visitation rights of the non-custodial parent are respected.
Parent should watch their own behavior in terms of how they act about the visitation. If they do not respect the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights, then it is natural that the child will not either. Keeping one’s own feelings in check is important when making sure that a child maintains a strong relationship with the non-custodial parent.