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Son no longer wants to visit. What do I do?
#1
I'm in a bit of a tricky situation and I've reached the point where I'm not sure what the right thing to do is anymore. I was hoping someone could give me some advice on the best thing to do in this situation.

My son's mother and I have been separated since before my son was born. When my son turned 3 his mother moved quite far away. (6 hour drive there and back) We went to court, the judge decided that my son would visit only half of all school holidays. (about 5 weeks)

My son is now 8. There have been times when he didn't want to come, It's been really hard, but I've always stuck at it and remained consistent. When he visits I always do my best to make sure he enjoys himself, we go out daily to play parks, holidays etc. However, the last three times he has come, he has been more and more vocal about not wanting to come. From his perspective, he has no friends that he can play with as I do not have any friends with children his age. As a result I have been taking him to holidays or activities where there are other children he can play with. Last time I told him that if he wanted we could reduce the amount of days that he sees me from 7 days to 4 and from 2.5 weeks in the summer to 1 week. Not ideal but I'm trying to find a compromise.

The problem is it's not enough. It's becoming clear that he just doesn't want to come and visit me. He calls me just before it's time to visit and tells me he doesn't want to come. Unfortunately, I cannot speak with his mother to find a solution as she is incredibly spiteful and angry all the time. Last time he didn't want to come, she got really angry saying I was forcing him to come. Ideally she would want to stop visits altogether, that way she would not have to share travelling with me anymore.

So I've reached the point where I do not know what to do anymore. Half of me wants to let him choose, and therefore I would not see him until much later in his life if he changes his mind. The other half isn't convinced that that's the right decision. But I'm pretty sure that his resistance to coming here is only going to get worse as he gets older.

I've been hurting a lot over this ever since he was 3, having a child that doesn't want to see you despite your best efforts is not a nice feeling.

I am asking for advice here as hopefully someone can offer a fresh perspective on the best way to approach this situation.

Thank you for your time.

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#2
I wouldnt reduce contact as your ex partner winning and getting what she wants.
What has happened is your 8 year old son has picked up on how much your ex partner dislikes you and hostility. He lives with her full
time. Whats happening i think is cause his mum doesnt want him to see you thats what is making him not want to see you.
Any excuse or reasons he is coming out with is more than likely come from his mum . As long as you keep your feelings about ex partner to yourself in front of son if you keep been there for him and doing stuff and taking him places where there are children his age and dad to son chats he will come round. Imagine u reducing contact is been done cause u think its the best thing to do but equally your ex partner could be saying that u dont want to see him as u reduced it. u cant win and best to ignore anything your ex says.

Also another way to spot if your child is witnessing hostility towards you and sensing his mum doesnt like you is they tend to enjoy their time more and more as the holidays progress. they go from argumemtative quiet to smiley /happy.
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#3
For sure he has picked up on how much she hates me, she's never hid it from him. I've never said a bad word about her in front of him. Whenever he asks about what happened between us and "why does mum hate you?" I just explain to him that there are some things that he is too young to understand right now and that what matters is that me and her both love him. What can you say?

You hit the nail on the head when you say that he seems to enjoy/feel a lot more comfortable after 2 or 3 days with me.

Thanks for the advice, maybe I shouldn't reduce contact. I just thought that I would show him that I'm willing to meet him half-way. As far as his mum winning, I'm not concerned about that, what matters to me is what's best for him. She already won a long time ago either way.
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#4
Its his mum that is getting him to reduce contact. Dont keep it the same and like you just said hes a lot better after 2 or 3 days. As hes only 8 after a day or two they forget about what their mum has said and they start enjoying themselves . I would imagine when he returns home he is quiet as well. Also once you reduce it once with mums influence that is even less time he sees you and even easier to influence his decision making gradually reducing contact further and further to nothing. Remember when you have him regular you can make memories and have lots of fun and deep down he will always want to see you. More often and regular a child sees you easier it is for them and there always seems to be less problems. harder for mum to influence them so much
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#5
Hi, just thought i would add to this, "before its too late"
Please try to reason with his mum on visitation, but as i have found out mums can use the kids to get back at partners which is not looking after the kids interests, be careful she does not make a court application on this as 9 out of 10 cases the mum make false allegations against you, then dads have pretty much a hope in hell of regaining control. hope this helps you. look at ways to schedule the kids time with you present this to mum make it more useful to mum if possible, difficult i know but trust me you dont want the alternative.
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#6
Kennystetson has already been to family court. Its very clear that his mum is trying to reduce contact . If anything contact should remain the same . I would of if possible even considered having your son 1 weekend a month if that is possible or even every other weekend depending on your work schedule. That will put a stop to possible parent alienation as you would be seeing your son regular.

Dont ever reduce it though as before you know it there will be no contact at all and she could state in court false allegations and get it reduced in court saying you havent stuck to agreement
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