Children refusing contact

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  • #46767 Report


    Hi all,

    Just found this and hoping I can find some help as I’m really struggling.
    I have been separated for nearly 3 years and have two children (13 and 16).  I got divorced and we agreed the children would see their Dad every other weekend and an evening in the week.  This has only happened a handful of times.  They seem to go through fazes of wanting to see him.  The children have not really wanted any contact recently and even though I have tried to encourage contact this has not happened.  When the children refuse to answer his calls or messages I get constant abuse. It has resulted in nasty messages from my ex demanding to see the children, telling me I should make them.  My eldest has said that if he comes round he will go out.  I am at my wits end and don’t know what to do 😭

    When it got this bad a couple of years ago and my ex came round trying to talk to the children things got very aggressive.  He tried to physically stop my eldest leaving the house and he ended up running away.

    Sorry for the rant, I just don’t know what to do.


    #46769 Report


    I think it maybe time that your oldest son and his Dad should have that dreaded telephone conversation. The oldest one is now of age where he can discuss with his Dad what the issues are and why he doesnt want to see him. There could be many reasons , some could be as simple as he would be busy doing something else which is what happens when children get older. With the youngest one it could be one where you could speak to him and see why he dont want to see his dad. sometimes but not always they may decide to follow suit and do what their older sibling is doing.  It maybe that he also speaks to his dad but he is a bit younger of course . You can say to your ex you fully encourage contact and are all for it but you cant force the issue either as its cause hostility then between you and your children

    #46772 Report


    I am in exactly the same position but my 2 children are a lot younger, 7 and 3 and there is an element of emotional and verbal abuse. My 7 year old refuses to see her dad now after the last lot of verbal towards her and I fully support her.  I’m actually looking at legal action and getting professional advice as to what I can seriously do about this issue.

    You cannot force your children especially at their age, you are doing the right thing and encouraging them whilst explaining to your ex the situation. It’s hard being in the middle as such, my ex also gives me abuse thinking it’s all down to me that my 7 year old doesnt want to see him.

    Just do what your doing, I dont think there is much else you can do x

    #46803 Report



    this is a sad state of affairs for all of you. I truly hope you will find a solution that does admit an ongoing contact between the children and their father as it will be a sword of Damocles hanging over all of you for decades if it isn’t resolved.

    For a parent to lose contact to the children and not see them grow up is heartbreaking for some and maybe you can communicate just that to your children. Maybe encourage them to see it his way and ask them if their reasons not to see their father really justify breaking his heart.

    I managed for our teenage son to keep his contact to his mother and I was totally aware that some of the abuse I received from her was down to her feeling powerless and angry because she was afraid of losing him. My mantra has always been, a mother is for life and whatever you think today, might change in ten+ years when you have children on your own. He didn’t always go and at times it was hard, but we managed to keep it up. Now he (18+) is visiting her with his girlfriend  on Saturday afternoons almost every fortnight, and they get on.

    Just to make it clear, there are valid reasons why he didn’t want to visit her and she can be awful at times but still she is his mother, his roots are with her and to understand himself better in later stages of his life, it might be important for him to have contact with her. That was my reasoning. I clearly would prefer not having any contact with her at all but that is me, not him.

    I hope this helps and as difficult as it may be, try to see it from a third persons view and in light of what is best for the children.

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