Should I force my daughter to see her dad?

Me and my ex husband had 2 kids together. We were young when they were born, but they were planned. When they were 3 and 5 and he was traveling for work he met someone and decided not to come home to his family. He called and told me he didn’t love me anymore and he filed for divorce and moved in with this other women. Fast forward to now… the kids are 12 and 14. Just a year ago was the first time he reached out to them. I gave them the option to meet their dad. They have his number and they text back and forth sometimes, he drives 4 hours for some of their competitions, games, etc. And they have rooms at his house for the couple times they have gone to stay with him. He’s doing well and wants to bond with them now… we just decided on when the kids would go to see him this summer yesterday and my daughter comes to me (14) and tells me she doesn’t want to go. She would rather stay home, that when she is with her dad he’s suffocating trying to bond, ask questions, always wants to know what she’s doing, suggesting to do things ans she doesn’t want to be mean so she does what he wants but she never has any interest in it. Her dad signed away all physical and legal rights in the divorce. Would you make her go? She’s 4 hours from home when she’s there. I’m torn between telling her to give him more time and try to be open about the things she doesn’t like or needs space, and telling her that she doesn’t have to go if she doesn’t want to be there.

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Should I force my daughter to see her dad?

No, especially if he signed over rights.

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No I wouldn’t force her at all

No, he signed his rights away. I’d let them decide.

No she will resent you if you force her to go. He signed away his rights. He lost the “right” to be on there lives. He is NOT entitled to a relationship with them so he had better suck it up and understand that any relationship they have is on her terms not his!

I wouldn’t. She’s 14 old enough to make a decision like this. He made his when he walked away. He may want to mend the fences with them but it’s up to them

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I would respect her wishes and not force a relationship with basically a stranger

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no, it is 100% up to them. if they don’t want to then that"# their choice and it should be respected

I would not force her to go

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Let her decide. He left her.

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The kids are old enough to decide.

100% do not force a relationship.

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She will just resent both of you for forcing the relationship if you make her go. If he doesn’t have any legal tie to her then let her decide if she wants to or not. Maybe some day down the line she will be ready to fully open that door with him. It sounds like right now she just needs space to figure her own feelings out without feeling suffocated.

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I would first talk to dad and let him know to back off a little and let the bond happen naturally. I’d encourage my daughter to go and let her know at any point she’s just not comfortable that she can come home.

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I would not, I feel like that is an acceptable age for her to decide how much he is involved, especially since he was not around for her younger years, and thats on him… that was when he should have been bonding with his kids rather than looking for a new family

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I would not force her to go. :blue_heart:

Let her make up her own mind up she probably doesn’t see him as her dad as he’s never been there for her

I hate parents like this. Only wants to see them when they’re out of the “difficult stage”. I wouldn’t send her it’s kid loss.

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Could you have a conversation with him and bring up what she’s said? I.e he’s trying too hard and maybe tone it down a bit, that said though he signed his rights away so no you shouldn’t force your daughter to go stay with him if she doesn’t want to. Four hours is a long way from home and at that age, she’s more than old enough to decide for herself you and your children don’t owe him anything.

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Even a court would say shes at an age to decide for herself

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Nope. Don’t make her go at all

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At 14 she’s old enough to make that decision whether she wants to go or not even in court they would give her the option

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I wouldn’t make her, it might be a minor thing but in this time or place in the world something serious could be going on.

Nope. She’s old enough. His bad for abandoning them.

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She is old enough to make her own decisions but someone should let him know that she doesn’t like it and it’s pushing her away

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I think I would try talking to her dad first, or teaching her how to vocalize these feelings towards her dad. While no, no relationship should ever be forced, if he’s suffocating her wanting to make up for lost time it’s not necessarily an awful thing. It is when you’re a teenager but I’d hate to see her realize maybe if she had just had a convo he would’ve chilled a bit. Guilt can consume you and I would imagine he feels quite a bit.

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I wouldn’t force them to go if they don’t want to

I would have an open convo with her about why he wants to bond now but at the end of the day it’s her choice!

I would talk to dad and Encourage her to give it one more shot
If she still doesn’t want to then that is her choice

I wouldn’t make her go. HE walked away from his children without a second thought. Just left his family and signed away his rights so he could be with someone else. If your children don’t feel comfortable around him he has only himself to blame. Let your children decide, he has no rights…he signed them away.

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At this point I would leave the choice to her. I had a similar situation when I was younger, I went to visit my sperm donor (this was the 3rd visit ever) it was very uncomfortable for me. Long story short, I told my mom I didn’t want to ever go back. I was 10. Of your child is that uncomfortable with a situation, don’t force them to go

She’s old enough to decide if she wants to go. If you force her to go she might think that you don’t want her with you

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She’s old enough to make her own mind up and no, I wouldn’t force her to go.

Nope nope nope. She is old enough to decide, he should have thought of this consequence before dipping on them.

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Let it be her choice

She is old enough to know. Maybe talk to the dad & coach him on talking to her. If she still doesn’t want to go I would not force it . Just because the dad is finally ready to be a father doesn’t mean your children are

No I wouldn’t force it.

A couple of years ago my then 9 year old didn’t want to go to his dad. I tried to persuade him to go but he was adamant he didn’t want to go I told him to tell his dad that he wanted to stay home and why and when his dad kept pushing i told his dad he needs to respect his sons wishes which he did

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She’s 14 l… she’s old enough to make up her own mind. Plus he signed off his rights in the divorce so you are under no obligation to force her to go. Stand behind her decision.

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I would have an honest conversation with both your child and their father. It sounds as if he has grown in the time in between signing away his rights and is now making an effort to not miss anymore time with them. That says a lot to me anyway. If it were me, I would encourage her to go, a relationship with her father is irreplaceable. Let her know she can come home but to talk to her father and let him know how she feels. If no one tells him, he won’t know.

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Wouldn’t make her go. I’m sorry for him but these are the consequences when you fail to be there for your children when they are growing up. They get to decide for themselves one day and you are just at their mercy.

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No. Don’t make her go. She still has the RIGHT TO CHOOSE! Let her have it.

She needs to visit, hangout or bond with him on her own time. Don’t force her.

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Personally I wouldnt force them to see their father. They are both old enough to make that decision and court would listen to their opinion.
Let them keep contact by phone/text etc and see what the future brings but atm hes basically a stranger to them

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I wouldn’t. If she feels like he’s forcing a bond it won’t happen. I don’t blame her if he hasn’t been there (in the home) for a while. It’s nice that he still supports their games and stuff but if she doesn’t feel comfortable I wouldn’t make her do it

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I wouldn’t force my kids to do anything they’re uncomfortable doing. It doesn’t matter the relationship. That man abandoned those babies for 10 damn years. In my opinion, he forfeited his rights and privileges.

Don’t make her go maybe invite him over so you can talk to him and her at same time

I’d say don’t make her go if she doesn’t want to.

I think this is something you or daughter needs to communicate with dad.

How is he supposed to make her feel more comfortable if he doesn’t know he’s doing something she doesn’t like? Have them talk or all 3 of you talk, let him know how she feels and come up with a plan to make it more comfortable for her.

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Respect her. He made his choice now she’s making hers.

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Shes old enough should be her choice

Don’t make her go. I would encourage her, but not force her. It’s not her fault her dad was a piece of shit. He should have thought of the consequences to abandoning his kids for years.

Let her make her choice, maybe her interest will change in the future. Just ask her to keep her in touch with Dad. He needs to know, and explain what’s going on. Make sure He understands he should Not put undo pressure on her.

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I would not make her go. She’s old enough to decide. Maybe when she’s older she might want to connect with him. He gave up all rights to them. She should have the same right.

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Nope… don’t make her go… he chose to bail… it’s not her job to fix that!!!

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She’s old enough to decide. He abandoned her, let her decide how she wants to handle it. She’s setting a boundary with you, you should respect it.

Tell her you feel she should give him more time, but that you will not force her to go. Remind her that parents aren’t here for a lifetime and while he took time to get right, he is now wanting to be a part of her life, that is a blessing. Some never come around.

Don’t force her. He should have never left them to begin with. He doesn’t just get to decide when he wants to be a parent. His loss.

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No. Do not make her go. Let her decide if and when the time is right. They are old enough now to see things on their own.

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He made his own bed I’m afraid x

Do not make her go. Maybe have her go there for a night or so if she still wants go get her/bring her home. I wouldn’t force my kids if they didn’t wanna go.

She’s made her choice. Respect it. She’s old enough to make the choice independently.

Let her make her choice. He mad his didn’t he? If he stayed they would’ve been bonded. None of this is your fault.

She’s 14, she’s made up her mind and he will just have to respect that… till she is ready. He made the decision wen he left and I’m more then sure he knew wat the out come was gonna be. He made his bed now he has to lie in it.

The 14 yo may also be bored and feel like she’s missing things if she goes to see her dad. I wouldn’t force her. It might make her upset at her father as well as upset at you. My daughter was always hoping to get her dad’s attention after he left when she was 5. She spent one month in the summer with him starting when she was 8, continuing for a couple of years and then heard nothing more from her dad for years after. She reached out and reconnected for one visit when she got married. She continued to reach out and had one more visit a few years later after her daughter was born. At least your daughter’s dad is reaching out but it isn’t in a way that your daughter can accept. Your daughter’s dad needs to meet your 14yo on her terms. If he can’t, then he’s not going to be able to create a bond that isn’t there. That bonding time really needed to happen when she was younger. They may never have a father daughter relationship now unless he understands your daughter’s feelings and her needs. I would suggest you speak with him. I would not force your daughter to go with him if she does not want to go.

Nope. He missed the boat. You didn’t force her on him, so don’t force him on her. Kids don’t forget rejection.

She’s old enough to decide for sure. It’s not their fault that he waited so long to want a bond with them.

Nope. She’s old enough to decide for herself.

No I wouldn’t make her go. But if she wants to maintain some type of relationship maybe she can write him a letter or call him and explain why she doesn’t want to go and hopefully they can go from there

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Nope. She certainly should have the right to make that choice. He also made the decision to abandon his family and sign away rights it shouldn’t even be a discussion. This is what she wants and he has no legal recourse

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If she doesn’t wanna go for the whole summer then I’d at least make her go for a couple weeks just so he can still bond with her. Yea he screwed up but at least he’s trying now and she’ll appreciate that when she’s older

Make her try and if it’s to much go get her. Later not having that bond will hurt and hopefully she can maybe repair it some.

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Nope. He decided to bounce. This is a natural consequence of his decisions. He didn’t wanna spend time with her when she was little and it wasn’t forced on him. She doesn’t want to spend time with him now and it shouldn’t be forced on her.

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She is old enough to make her own decision. If she chooses not to go that is her right. Also if he signed away his rights, he has no rights to see them or have them with him alone.

She’s 14. She’s made her choice. Respect it.

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It her choice if she goes

If she doesn’t want to go do not send her. We have to listen to our children. It doesn’t matter what the Father wants because they weren’t his concern before, so everyone doesn’t have to bend over backwards to make him happy just because he’s decided to find a conscience.

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Never force your child to go anywhere they don’t want to go. She’s old enough to decide for herself and whatever feelings she has are valid and should be taken into consideration. That’s a good way for her to resent you if you force her. He made his bed and now he’s gotta lay in it. I wouldn’t sway her either way but I would respect her wishes as she is old enough to make such a decision.

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I would leave it up to her. She’s old enough to make the decision.

Nope! Bye! They can decide at 18

Make her try it bc it may just be nerves

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NOPE!!! he chose to leave his kids !!! Don’t forget her

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No, no, no. Don’t force it. She’s made her choice, respect that.

I wouldn’t force her but if she wants to have a relationship with him maybe have a conversation with him about how she’s feeling and find a middle ground.

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He has no rights to does kids !!! He signed them away, so the kids want to spend time with him that’s good but do not force them

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No, I wouldn’t make her go. Forcing her to bond with a father who deserted them will do more harm than good and will create animosity. I would, however, encourage her to openly discuss her misgivings with her father and recommend they attend family therapy.

But, I just can’t get over how he could throw away his kids for years and expect to be so easily forgiven. He signed away all his rights, ffs!! His abandonment would have scarred them. That kind of emotional hurt takes a great deal of time and patience to repair. It won’t happen overnight, so it’s a douche move on his part if he’s pushing too hard.

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Nope. Listen to her! She’s obviously not comfortable with it. Never force a child to do something they aren’t comfortable with!

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She is 14 she should be able to decide. You can’t force her to go and be miserable. You can’t force her to have a relationship with him. He made his choice years ago he can’t just come back and expect them to be ok with him and want a relationship with him. He signed them away he abandoned them I wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t want anything to do with him at all.

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She’s only enough to decide I think but maybe you can give her the option of going for just a short visit

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He made his choice and now she’s made hers. It’s that simple.

Nope don’t force her to go ! But maybe she could explain why in a letter or a text

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Nope, it’s her choice, he gave up his rights to be her father

I would encourage her to have an honest talk with him if she decides to go or ask her if you can have a talk with him about how she feels, but ultimately, I’d leave the decision up to her if she wants to go or not. Please don’t force her to go.

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Absolutely NOT. Kid doesn’t want to go, don’t force her.

No , Why would u make her go now

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I would tell her both, that you won’t force her to do something she doesn’t want but that she needs to be responsible for explaining to him why that is. At least give him the chance to do better, he might not know he’s being overbearing

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Why not ask her to do a short visit