Why won't my ex spend time with our kids?

by Lorrie Brook / OCA / 27 Jul 2015

Why won't my ex spend time with our kids?  Have you heard someone say this before.  Are you saying it?  So what are you supposed to do when the other parent is supposed to be spending time with your children and they are just not showing up? There are 3 points I really want to cover.


  1. If it is a one off incident lets not make a big deal about it, sometimes things just happen. You know that sometimes events, issues, scenarios get in the way of you doing whatever it is that you have planned for that day –that’s just life. Yes if you are the parent who has care of the children, you work your life around your children and this may not be fair but I’m not here to tell you it will be. If it is a one off incident though lets give them the benefit of the doubt. Your priority is to make sure your children know how much they are loved and remind them that sometimes things get in the way and it has nothing to do with them. Tell them that their other parent would want nothing more than to spend time with them but for whatever reason they can’t today.


  1. If it is an ongoing issue you need to talk to the other parent and try and figure out what is going on that is preventing them from spending time with the children. Has their shifts changed at work that they can’t get to changeover time, or issue beyond their control?


  1. If it is just that they keep forgetting they need to understand the impact that this is having on your children. What are they saying to you, how are they behaving? Is it getting to the point where your children don’t even expect them to turn up anymore. If you have tried to talk to them and it is having no impact you may be able to look into child inclusive counselling or mediation, something where you are sitting down with an independent and qualified person (child inclusive counselling will allow you both to hear and understand how your children are feeling and their thoughts on all of this) to help you both to reach a resolution; so that your children can continue to spend time with each of you.


Communication is the key in any relationship.  Before you go confronting your ex with both barrels loaded, stop and consider why you think your ex is not spending time with your kids.  Most of all though, always be open to hear their answer and look for ways to resolve the problem.