9 Year Old With a Visitation Problem

Nine year old refuses to go visit father
Harlan Jacobsen Copyright 2003

Turns out that a lady wrote asking how to handle a situation where her nine year old daughter did not want to go with her other two kids on visitation day to her fathers house with his new wife. Who was, it turns out, a former friend of her mother which all of the children already knew.

She was unable to find anything on our site or on the web anywhere that took up or explained what was going on here, so we take it up here.

The mother was positive the kids were being treated well, and could not understand why even after she had finally gotten the daughter to go on the visitation, she would call her mother desperately wanting to come home. Neither the father nor the mother had any clue or explanation for this and it was causing all sorts of repercussions in what was otherwise apparently going well.


First of all, you will find that some of your children handle your divorce quite well, some be depressed and other affects, and it is very common for there to be one (often an older child) that makes some sort of a decision about what has happened and this results in hard to understand, hard to handle and deal with problems that also affect how the other children deal with the divorce.

The father usually wants the children to get acquainted with the new spouse and all be able to have a good time together during visitations.

With one child out of the group, with a chip on the shoulder wanting no part of visitation , it often turns visitation with dad into a sour grapes experience for all.

In this matter the nine year old has apparently made some decisions about the divorce, (perhaps about who was the villain ) that gravely affect her behavior in regard to the new arrangements.

As a mother, if your life was going along happily, your husband leaves you with not much notice and moves in with one of your friends, then you will be terribly upset.

We will just use this for an example to help understand what is going on here.

Let us say as a long term spouse, you are very angry and have a great deal of resentment about their leaving and how they have turned your stable world upside down.

Then, to pour salt in your wounds, as part of the divorce settlement, you are here after required by the court to spend, every Saturday and Saturday night, with your ex and his new mate.

You certainly would not want to go to their place every week from here on out, and despite their going overboard, on being nicey nice, you would be very unhappy and uncomfortable, if you were forced against your will to spend time with these people.

When there, you would likely be so uncomfortable and unhappy being there, you too would call for help to anyone that might rescue you to escape from the scene.

You will feel you just can not stand being with people who you thought loved you, must have betrayed that love to do this, and who now seem to be going on happily with life and seem to have absolutely no concern about what they did to your life.

This is almost the same as what the 9 year old is going thru with even less maturity to handle it.
The fix or repair for the 9 year old to get back to a normal life is very similar to the fix for the mother going thru this.

First of all is the resentment, which is one of the steps or things you need to work thru before you can move on in getting over an alcohol addiction, and we have an article on the adult getting past the resentment to move on from the affects of divorce. These steps and tips can be adopted for getting the nine year old past their resentment of the divorce that has been dumped on them.

The child talking this out with aunt Louise, a counselor, the father, or anyone at all will be a necessary part of getting past this anger and resentment.

Many talk sessions or counseling sessions with a good listener may be necessary to completely talk this out to enable them to get this back into perspective that makes their life workable again.

This is one of those times that forgiveness may be necessary for the child to learn to be able to recover the ability to adopt to "what is" and move on.

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Nine year old refuses to go visit father
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