My child doesn’t want to visit my partner. What should I do?

1. Talk to your child

Talk to your child about why they don't want to visit your partner.

There are many reasons why your child may be refusing to visit with your partner such as:

  • feeling scared
  • not liking your partner's new partner
  • not having all their stuff or toys with them
  • your partner's style of discipline
  • feeling bored
  • feeling worried about you
  • not wanting to hurt your feelings
  • missing their friends in your neighbourhood

How you deal with the reason your child is refusing to visit with your partner depends on the age and maturity of your child.

All children need to feel secure and that you're happy for them to go on visits with your partner. They need to know that you're okay while they are gone and that you are not upset with them.

Children's fears and concerns should be heard and dealt with. If your child is young, it can be easy to make small changes to make your child more comfortable going on the visits. For example:

  • let them take their favourite toys when they visit your partner
  • get two of some things they need like toothbrushes, hairbrushes, and other small things

You and your partner can also:

  • make them feel free to contact either of you by telephone, email, skype, or text
  • not say bad things about each other in front of your child
  • not have your child take messages back and forth
  • prepare your child for visits by giving them age‑appropriate reminders like “tomorrow you see your father” or “your mother plans to be here in ten minutes to pick you up”
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