My oldest child dislikes going to her dads house: Advice?

Hello, I have an almost 4-year-old and 6.5 yr old to my ex. He hasn’t been a big part of their life, I left. Him after years of multiple affairs and drug and alcohol use. He’s been in and out of rehab, in and out of the kid’s lives. For the last eight months or so, he’s been doing really well, has a new partner, and seems better. We started off with him seeing the kids every second weekend, and it’s progressed from there. My youngest doesn’t mind going sometimes, but my eldest is always upset. So it makes it hard. I recognize the need to see them spend time with the kids, too but what I’m asking is how other mums deal with it. I have my kids approx 65% of the time. I also work full time. When I don’t have them, I get home from work and just hop into bed. I cry. I’m so depressed being separated from my kids it doesn’t feel right as a mum. It’s been like this for months. I’m wondering it will get any easier for me. Will it get easier for my kids (particularly my eldest). How do I get through this time? Thank you x


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My oldest child dislikes going to her dads house: Advice?

I wouldn’t force them as they may think their feelings don’t matter


It does get easier :two_hearts:

My son did this it was court ordered he went every other weekend… A few years later my sons dad killed himself its been 4 years since and my son is now talking about why he hated it there why he cried not wanting to go…
I pray this is not your situation and in time it will get better.
I know i hated going to my dads just simply because i missed my mom and my dad was mean


Listen to the child. You are not there and you may not understand why she does not want to go.


I arranged my schedule so when the kids were gone I was working. That way I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. It was hard coming home to am empty house but you will adjust. One thing I did was clean the house on Friday when they left and it was that way till they got home. That made me feel good😅 the kid will feed off you on going to dad’s. If they know you aren’t on board they won’t be either.

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With what he’s put them through, don’t push a relationship between them. Maybe he can take her out during the day and bring her home for a while, maybe she’ll adjust better. As for you, it does get easier momma. When me and my ex split it was HARD, we do 50/50 so I’m without my baby for a whole week, you’ll always miss them but it does get easier.

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It would be awesome to get your children and yourself into some sort of counseling program. Teaching them young to express their emotions in a healthy way can be very valuable especially when dealing with a situation that can take a turn at any point depending on your exes sobriety. And for yourself. I know it’s hard. I don’t get to see my daughter nearly enough and there are many hard days counseling really helped through alot of those emotions.

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Just knowing they are with their father is the best thing as all children need a father in their life. You just need to do something special for yourself when they are gone. It will get easier.

You don’t want to be in contempt of a court order… I have the same issue and my ex is a horrible alcoholic and the courts are well aware… he still gets them every other weekend the kids hate going over there but after 6 years of back and forth to court the judge still won’t give him less time and I’ve already been in contempt once for not sending them and technically the kids aren’t old enough to tell the courts they don’t want to go until 15/16 I guess it depends on the state… It will get better just hang in there and hopefully the kids will adjust

I know it is hard, mom of 6, kids would go or not go would not force it, either as he did not care but it does get easier momma it will and you will enjoy some time for urself u know to catch up with CLEANING lol

My kids’ father passed away so I didn’t have to go through sharing them with him. But I will give you my perspective as a child of divorced parents. I went through phases of not wanting to go to my dad’s house for visitation. It wasn’t because of any particular reason other than I just didn’t want to go. It may be your child just doesn’t want to go. He/she is old enough to have a conversation about why he/she doesn’t want to go. Sit down and find out why and go from there.

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Have you really talked to her and asked why she doesn’t want to go? There may be a valid reason!


It’s a bad situation. Make sure you ask the kids lots of questions when they get home.

You wrote exactly me in 2015 my 4 kids were ordered to go see him every second weekend the drop off’s and pick ups were the hardest. Mind you we had full ivo against him. My children were 5,8,10,11 yrs olds. The court said family courts override ivos so I was forced to put my kids in his fucken car… only lasted 2 yrs when he belted my son I didn’t send them back and now the boys are adults and girls choose if they want to see him… if you don’t have court orders fuck it don’t send her she must feel uncomfortable until she askes you that she wants to go… either way sending you strenght plz dm me if you need to talk

I’d seek family counseling, including him & individual for her. He may seem to be doing better to you. You don’t know what is happening when you’re not around. She may not be able to articulate what is happening. She just knows something is wrong. Seeing both parents is important but if it’s upsetting the child this much for this long it it’s doing more damage than good. If it persists I’d be considering going back to court with your counselor to modify visits.

My 2 older kids father passed away when the youngest was 15 months old and the oldest was 4 (I was still married to him) so I dont have advice on that part. But after 3 years I moved back to my home town. And I basically share my kids with their grandpa. He gets them (also my 3 year old thats not his grandchild by blood but he claims her) and let me tell you going from having my kids every day 24/7 it took alot of getting used to not having them around when they would go to grandpas house every other weekend. Wasn’t so bad after I had my 3 year old up until last summer when she wanted to start going with her brother and sister. Then I started all over on the missing my kids like crazy. Now I love the quiet time to get my house cleaned and then relax for the rest of the weekend. I also get my shopping done while they are at their grandpas. While yes I still miss them I know they love going and growing up with only having my grandma who I got to see once or twice a year I let them go make memories with them as I know one day he won’t be around and my dad passed away so they only have the one grandpa. So my advice is occupy your time by cleaning or go out when they are with their dad

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Things will get better, sometimes It’s nice to have a mama break on weekends while he have a duty responsibilities as a father should. Not many mothers are lucky as you if they wants a break for a weekend. Have fun with your friends, exploring different towns, wine tastings, get a massage, restaurants dining try new food! Try new things!! Life is short but mamas are allow to have a good times. There’s nothing to be guilty at all!! Life is short!!

Can you imagine how their dad feels about not seeing them??
Now as ypur oldest not wanting to go. Have you talk to her? And if she talks, just listen, don’t tell her she had to go. Don’t say daddy will miss her. But after she is done talking & hopefully she does. Ask her what you can do to make things better for her!!

Mine didn’t wanna go. They felt “homeless” going between houses.

If they dont want to go then I’d be asking why.
Dads feelings could be hurt not seeing his kids but if it’s because of something he is or isn’t doing it’s on him. They should want and love to see their dad!
Find out why they dont want to be there. Your job is to make sure those kids are safe. I wouldn’t force them to go though if they aren’t comfortable


ask would it be more comfortable if they visited at a local park or zoo or other child friendly place and maybe set up certain day and time to meet up to do a lunch day someplace to gradually get used to each other

I truly sympathize with ur crying from being apart from ur kids. The thought of being apart from my own brings tears to my eyes right now. (19 months and currently prego). I even used to cry being away the few times I had to work and my daughter stayed home with dad. If the two of us ever split idk what I would do omgosh

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Let them choose :woman_shrugging: worse thing I ever did forcing my son to go for a relationship with his dad x

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Talk to your kid and ask her why, maybe I am weird but I have always valued my daughter’s opinion on things that directly involve her. I’m gonna get some hate for this but if you truly have a healthy co parenting situation (neither one of you bad mouths or resents the other) and you’re kid has a good enough reason (for me if my kids even uncomfortable) (I’m a very strong believer in kids intellect and the feelings they get from people) then they should be encouraged to go but not forced, if its a big deal for you that they visit maybe offer another way like group outings or supervised visits or just day outings. Maybe I don’t see the full picture (which usually i am told im very good at seeing) because i have 1 kid right now and the father opted to financially assist me but otherwise remain 100% out of her life but my parents were separated and i wish someone would have listened to my feelings…


Listen to your kids feelings and take that into consideration.


It gets easier especially if they communicate with you and feel safe there my youngest didn’t not do well be away from me but she’s always been independent and never wanna be is trouble so she said when she misses me she goes and plays by herself with her dolls I’m assuming pretending and she is 7 and it’s been 4 years now

Well first off never cry in front of your kids (I know didn’t say that but yeah) second ask them why they dont wanna go its a lot harder on them than you know (harder on them than it is you trust!) Just have open communication dont be just or get irate just stay calm and ask your ex if you can without arguing about their concerns and go from there

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At 6 and a half years old, I wouldn’t force her to go. Instead though, I would see if she’s okay with dad picking her up from school for 2 hours a couple days a week. Once she’s used to and okay with that, you can increase the amount of time and days this happens, eventually moving to weekends.
Offer her alternatives. If he’s been somewhat absent in her life, then it’s only natural that she feels safest with you and probably has a lack of trust for him. Talk to her, work with her and you’re alot more likely to find a happy medium - even if dad has to meet her in the middle and earn her trust.

Well you have to figure out the real reason they dislike it. I would definitely make the visits less frequent. Every other weekend is pretty standard but if they’re not happy then shoot for day visits. Something may be going on that the child can’t really process and explain

Many sets of parents have had to raise their kids like this for at least a couple generations… it’s hard at first, but the kids will adjust in time and it will become routine. It’s not ideal, but it will work out…
I’m speaking from experience.

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Always listen to your kids and their feelings regarding other people (parents or not). Communication is key … have a conversation like the following:

Baby what’s wrong? Why don’t you like going to daddy’s house?
Its ok you’re not going to get in any trouble. I really care and love you. I want you and sissy to be safe even when I am not there. You can always talk to me about anything. … etc…

Listen to & believe everything she says to you!

This let’s her know that you have her back and that she able to fully trust & be honest with you with anything in life.

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Ask your child why she doesn’t want to go and get to the bottom of it. There’s a reason she’s upset and not wanting to go.

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Mine would cry and not wanna go and she would stay in her room and never come out I know kids need to see both parents but I don’t think no child should ever be pushed into going to see another parent patience u have always said kid will come around when they are ready …I mean if parents split up thats hard enough on the kid and adding and pressuring them to go back and fourth when there not ready only adds more stress but some don’t look at it that way . I understand how u feel when my daughter used to have to go I felt lost but it is but it is nice to have your own time as well but honestly ide rather be with my kiddos I didn’t have them to have free time

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You need to have a simple conversation and get to the bottom of why a little 6 yr girl doesn’t want to go with daddy. There may be some issues you don’t know about! Something sounds off!!!

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My oldest child dislikes going to her dads house: Advice?

I’d put her in therapy and voice that to her father to see if he can say or do anything to help ease her transition.

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If a kid is really adamant about not wanting to go somewhere, I’d trust the kid. There is a reason they don’t wanna go and it’s worth investigating.


My kids don’t like going to other parents house either. We just reinforce that they need to spend time with the other family. Speak to the dad maybe he can help. And as hard as it is NEVER bad talk in front of those kids.
As for yourself when they are gone. The thing that worked for me was going for walks. It was super hard at first but I’ve gotten use to it and now ive even began to look forward to mom time.


I haven’t personally dealt with this but my advice is u might want 2 sit down and ask why the oldest why they dont wanna go. There’s always a reason behind the way a child acts. If they dont want 2 go dont send them. As 4 u it’s hard 2 let go of ur kids but it does get better I promise. Eventually u will learn u can take that time 2 relax and take some much needed u time or get things done around the house that otherwise seem impossible 2 do when u have kids. Eventually it will become 2nd nature. It doesn’t help that hes been so bad in the past but u are doing a great thing starting off slow and taking it as u feel comfortable with doing things or letting him have them. Just stick with that but seriously get 2 the bottom of why the child dont want 2 go


It’s hard when you can’t trust the other parent to adequately take care of your children. The fact that your eldest is voicing discomfort is also room for anxiety. I don’t blame you. Maybe try to talk to your kiddo to see why exactly they don’t want to go, reassure them you’re on their side & see if it’s something worth worrying about.


First thing I’d do is ask the child “why” and go from there. Be calm and assure your child to be honest with you.

Find out if there is a reason why your child didn’t want to go. Have a one on one talk.

That’s a hard one. My oldest sometimes didn’t want to go to his dad’s too. Not because anything even remotely bad was happening there, he just missed me and his friends and his home. So I started keeping him home one weekend a month while his little sis still went to their dads. He enjoyed the alone time with mom and stopped whining about going to dad’s the other weekends.


FLAGS… I’d be concerned, at 6.5 yrs old they know something isn’t right. I’d reach out to school nurse, therapist or trusted friend to ask questions. Child might open up to someone else IF being told Don’t Tell Mommy.


I think Natalie Barlow hit the nail in the head…kids, at the end of the day, just want to be home…with Mom. Brilliant idea having the one weekend a month one on one with mom…and daughter with her Dad. Making (awesome) unforgettable memories.

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What you are suffering is from feeling lost without your kids! You have great children but you also need to get out and enjoy life! It has been easy because of Covid but you should go out with friends or stay in and treat yourself to a movie and a meal or a pedicure at home, take care of yourself and Don’t feel guilty for letting the kids go they need to be with their dad and it’s a new home so it’s different but the more that you encourage the visits by saying you are going with your dad and are going to enjoy your time and have lots of fun instead of staying here and helping me clean! When you see that your children are excited to go to his house the guilt will not hurt you anymore for wanting an hour alone to finish a movie or to clean without having to stop in the middle to do something! Enjoy yourself, he is their dad and needs to learn how to be one and if you get in the middle of that he will disappear and maybe he will loose his battle with drugs or alcohol but the people that will lose is them not you! I speak from experience because I have always wanted my dad to complete that picture but it has never being what I envisioned! Do it for your kids!

Damn I feel like I don’t even need to read the whole thing to form an opinion, if the child doesn’t want to go do not force it. Especially with the dads history of drug use.
Get a parenting plan!

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My oldest child dislikes going to her dads house: Advice?

It “seem’s” as if he’s doing well???
I would have to be ABSOLUTELY positive that he is clean & sober!

Which would REQUIRE Clean Drug test … before EVER getting his hands :raised_hands:t3: on my kid’s. Period point blank.

And that would be 1 year of being sober.

It isn’t about HIM, it’s about the kid’s, and what’s best for THEM!

And I hope he’s paying child support. That’s part of his recovery too. Responsibility & ownership. No half stepping on anything.


I have been dealing with the same thing for almost 2 years and sadly it hasnt gotten better. Ive realized the best thing I can do is reassure my daughter that I’ll see her soon.


I too went thru something like this, I had to get out also, do not speak bad about them, although they talk bad about you, I was called baby whale my daughter and me mama whale, which I felt that my children dont need that kind of negativity,time, is what you need to feel better about it, they need both of you to raise them well. Only interfere if drugs and alcohol are involved, let him be a good father.

Same thing here. My oldest son who is 10 doesn’t want to go to his dads house. I put him in therapy to try to work through the resentment he has for him for leaving and moving 3 hours away. Now that he moved back with his wife, the mistress, he won’t go at all. Says he worries about me. Idk what to do either.

Is it possible that the child is aware of your feelings about being separated from them?
Children don’t handle grown up emotions well. They just don’t know what to do about. At that age, they hate to see mommy sad. So the child might be suffering from guilt of leaving you.


Have you talk to the oldest to see why she/he doesn’t like going. Have your tired finding a hobby or having girls night when they do go over. Best of luck :heart:

Plan some outings with ex & new partner. The 3 of you can set an example that all is good & you’re working together. Good for the kids/adults!! Win. Win.


Time…it takes time 1 day at a time!! I have been through exactly what you are going through…do not bad mouth your ex let the child find out on it’s own and now my daughter is 40 and she said that was the best thing I could have done!! Now she doesn’t speak to her Dad!

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Have you asked them why they don’t want to go? Maybe there is a good reason.

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I would find out what is really going on that makes the kids uncomfortable if I were u. Maybe the bad habits are continuing. Maybe it’s the new partner. Always listen to your kids.


I would ask specifically why she doesn’t like going and have her consider that and explain to you. If she feels uncomfortable in anyway or maybe doesn’t like his girlfriend that’s an important conversation to have and figure out.
Maybe you can do more as a family together to help her get used to them.


You need to listen to your kid. Theres a reason she doeant wanna go.

How old is your oldest child? Are we’re talking 14 or younger? Maybe there are different rules at your house compared to his dad’s. As a mom I know we as mother’s have a tendency to let kids get away with more. So maybe he just knows he can’t get over on dad as much.

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My oldest child dislikes going to her dads house: Advice?

You need to find a hobby, something you enjoy apart from the kids.

Could be she just is uncomfortable being out of her home environment and has nothing to do with her dad. Im the same way, I could LOVE somewhere and the surrounding people but I ALWAYS want to go home. Talk to your ex about not doing overnights and maybe just visiting.

My eldest granddaughter was the same and was broken hearted everyone she went to her dad’s but her younger sister was got worse ever week until I let her say no and she stayed with her mum but 8 months down the line she has changed her mind we will never know why she wouldn’t go and wasn’t forcing her against her will,after all after 5 a child can make their own mind up so don’t push too hard.they may like staying with their mum

First find out why your oldest is uncomfortable make sure there’s no type of mental physical sexual or verbal abuse going on. Second once that’s done make sure There’s no neglect if those basis are covered then find a common ground as to helping your child understand that if all basis are safe and covered its in her/his best interest to spend that special time with their father just like they do with you.


You both will get used to it.

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Me and my ex share 50/50 custody and my kids STILL prefer to be at my house over his. You have to just ignore it, UNLESS something is legitimately wrong. But they’re just more comfortable with you, that’s all. They will eventually grow that with him too, it just takes time.


I would be concerned about why my child doesn’t want to go over there. When I was separated and let my daughter go visit dad he would have her at house gathering with the new girlfriend. I knew for a fact that they were drinking and I know he liked to gloat that he was a great dad in front of his friends and new girlfriend. I am a mom and if the other parent can’t seem to make your own child want to come see you and visit you then yes it’s a red flag for me. I would talk to the dad about it first hand. I know in my gut I would not be ok with my kids being over there and you know your eldest is not happy about something. Maybe the girlfriend makes her feel uncomfortable or it could just be it’s not her mom. Whatever the case, I would definitely want to know why. I would even try talking to her about it without him around. If you’re gut says it then listen.

Foster and encourage the relationship with their father. Talk to her and see why she feels that way. Assuming there’s no abuse, you should absolutely make her see her father and truly be excited for her. Show excitement for her seeing him and spending time together, and don’t talk bad about him.
As far as you, maybe you should consider seeing a counselor to work through your own issues with the separation. This is an opportunity for your kids to have both parents and for you to focus on your own self care when they are with their father. Get things done, have dinner with friends, you’re going to be a better mother and better example to your girls the more independent and happy you are with yourself. I understand missing your children when they aren’t with you, but if you’re not able to get out of bed and that depressed while they’re gone, you’re creating serious codependent girls. Have you thought maybe that’s why she doesn’t want to go, she feels guilty because she knows how you act about them being gone? That’s not fair to your girls. Kids aren’t as oblivious as we like to think.


It’s not the child’s choice! That child is picking up on your negative emotions. As long as no harm is coming to your children, they need a dad too! That is what is wrong with mothers these days. You are not the be all, end all. It’s extreme child abuse if you are raising your kids like that. God forbid, if you ever get killed in a car accident. Who do you think gets custody of your children? Don’t you think they’d like to go to a happy, healthy, loving parent? Or would you rather they are forced to live with what you have created, a complete stranger you don’t approve of?

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Don’t send them if she’s uncomfortable. Either of them.

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Have a talk with her. Find out why she doesn’t want to go. Make sure nothing bad is happening.

All you can do is encourage a healthy relationship with the other parent. I wish I could tell you it gets easier. I hate sharing my kid with the other parent. The older they get the harder it is because you can’t control how much time the child spends with each parent. It was always mommy when he was little but the teenage years he wants to be with dad. It’s heartbreaking daily.

I would try to figure out why she doesn’t like going. The environment there may just be so different that she doesn’t like it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. Maybe they are stricter than your house. Maybe it’s more boring. My stepson loves visiting his mom, because there are no rules. He gets a snack when he wants. He plays whatever video games he wants. He watches whatever he wants on TV. We have routines and we don’t allow him to play or watch things that aren’t rated for children. So the environment may not necessarily be harmful (enough) to him to keep him from going.

At the same time, there could be something going on that is absolutely harmful. You’ve gotta figure out why she doesn’t want to go.

And it will get better for you being without them when they are gone. Maybe you can work it out to where you can work when they are gone and have more time off with them when they are home.

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Don’t let the kids decide if he’s not harming them then don’t change anything otherwise he could take you to court

I have 50/50 with my ex. My youngest always cries when I pick them up. It’s because he doesn’t have an xbox at my house. Kids can sometimes be upset about silly things. I would definitely talk to your daughter before changing any visits or schedule. It may take up to a couple years but they and you will get used to it. It just takes time and consistency.

I think a lot of kids have separation anxiety because they sense how you are feeling. I have found once they are with the other parent they have an ok time. Learn to enjoy your time to yourself. Encourage them to have a good time with their Dad.


Talk to her about why my son is 3 Austism partially non verbal but the receptive language is amazing with him.
If he’s not happy About a visit with his real dad me and his stepdad will ask him" why are you wanting to stay home we are all coming right back* he will tell us " he’s mean" or " he said u no daddy" to my fiance we’ve had to find the problem give a choice he’s got feelings and we want him to know he can use them Express, be validated. Just talk with her mom to daughter ask how she feels.

Seek counseling for you and the child that is struggling. It will help.

You need to find out WHY she doesn’t like to go. The reason could be bad news. It might be something you can fix.

Dig. Why doesn’t she like going?

It gets easier for everyone

First talk to her and find out why she doesn’t want to go. She has spent all this time with mainly you and now things are different. It could just be anxiety being away from you as you have with them being gone. As long as things are going good and she is safe and well taken care of, encourage and give it time.

I wouldn’t make her at that age and go back to court if needed. but have you tried calmly talking to her to see why she doesn’t want to go…
at that age my step mom was not nice to me when my dad had his back turned…
whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, there may be a good reason why she doesnt want to be there and at her age it may be hard for her to get her words out correctly

Your separation anxiety can be transferred to her. She can feed off of your emotions. Try to talk positive about the other parent and get them excited about going even if your not. My step daughter used to always cry when she has to go to her mamas and cry when she had to go to her daddies. It’s not bc she doesn’t love them both it’s bc she was enjoying the time she had with each of them and didnt want the time to end. It’s hard on kids having to live in two households. We always get her excited about going to her moms bc if we cried when she cried it’s just gonna make it worse. They need both parents as much as everyone wants their babies with them at all times.

As the older girl in my family and your girl sounds like me but my father was abusive and used to beat the crap out of us and it never got easier for me and I am now 35 and I have nothing to do with him because it was court ordered that I had to go with him it got to the Point that the cops had to hand me over because my mums family could not make me go and wouldn’t make me go in the end but in saying that have you talked to her about why she is not wanting to go with them and one 75 so I have for you do not whatever you do do not talk badly about him or his partner in front of your kids my mum is not the greatest mum but that is one thing she ever did was bad mouth then improve us and just keep on keep on and I wish you all the luck in the world with this :purple_heart:

I dont know your ex. Or you …but if my child is that upset about going anywhere…thats a Warning sign…Listen to her.!!!.. she fears something… :sleepy::heart:Best of luck in resolving this…

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I have been down the same exact road. My ex husband of 14 yrs also had a history with drugs and drinking(now he’s sober and doing amazing for his self) my oldest 2 hated going to his house but my youngest(my son) loved it. My children however are older. The way I handled it was I would ask him to come to my house or a park or something to hang out with my oldest(girls). When they were comfortable with that then I started dropping them off in a public place and picking them up. Today if they wanna go to his house they just call and tell him to come get them for the weekend. I allowed them to create a trust and bond before I let them to go. My children didn’t wanna be without me either. I as I should be was their security blanket. Good luck hun I hope things get easier. From a moms view it’s sucks I understand.

I would definitely find out why …u never know anymore & talk to her & see if she can give u a reason why…

I’ve been in the same spot and will be again soon. My daughter is 12 though she said she wouldn’t mind like going during the day but doesn’t seem to want to spend the night or stay the weekend. Im not sure what I will be able to do. Shes expressed everything to me and I really try not to get involved cuz then he blames me. I know at a certain age she can have more of a say. She has her own room now and can have friends over etc. Im interested to see the comments. Its so difficult and my ex is so bad at communication. It’s like talking to a wall.

Stop putting your emotions on your kids🤷🏻‍♀️

Praying for you. It’s so hard and I still cry all the time when my son is with his dad .

As a child who went through this, listen to your kid. If something seems off, it probably is… I’m sorry I wish I had better advise.

Where drugs & alcohol are involved I would be very cautious also check on the partner… Keep the children as your number one priority… Your kids know when something is not right.

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