Many common problems during “visitation” (boy, do I hate that word; kids don’t “visit” their parents) occur the transition time when the child moves from one parent’s house to the other’s. Divorced dads often tell me that the mother will call to say that she misses the child, especially when the child has just arrived or has just spent the first day with her Dad. A wise dad named Chris had these reflections on that issue:
I had equal visitation, as long as I sent my check. My ex did that same thing not as a game, but out of her own insecurity. My kids responded initially as wanting to protect their mother. After a relatively short while, they got tired of having to “take care of her.” Especially when Dad offered a more sane alternative.What are your thoughts and experiences about Chris’ central point: “Your children will decide what relationship you all will have with them based upon the respect you give them REGARDLESS of what the other spouse is doing”? Share them with us in the comments below.
I didn't say “I miss you.” I kept it positive, and said "I'm looking forward to seeing you again on such and such day". I never used that to buy them, as much as to show them that I valued my time with them and allowed them to value their time with their mother without 'guilt'.
My kids got it pretty quick. Four daughters. My youngest, twins, just moved into their own house-dorm- as they prepare for college in the fall. So now I’m experiencing empty nest. But I have a real connection with them, and a great respectful relationship with them. Last week, one of my youngest got terribly ill, mono, and came to my home to get taken care of. She had no question of where she would get the caretaking she needed.
They scarcely want to talk to their needy mom, though do out of respect. Your children will decide what relationship you all will have with them based upon the respect you give them REGARDLESS of what the other spouse is doing.