Should teens get to choose visitation?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Should teens get to choose visitation?
2
Tue, 01-21-2014 - 10:04am

At what age do you think it's okay for kids to decide on whether they want to follow through with the visitiation schedule in place?  Should they have a decision in whether they want to spend time with the other parent, when sports, activities, jobs, etc. come into play?  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 01-28-2014 - 11:14am

I do think that parents have to be flexible when kids are older teenagers and start having their own interests.  I know my son didn't want to spend every other Sat. night at his dad's because he would rather be at his friends--after all on the Sat. nights that he slept at my house, it's not like he was staying home hanging out with me--he was going out.  Plus he works part time and it's not always on the same schedule so he & his father would work around that and he still managed to go to his father's house twice a week for dinner--now this only works because I am also flexible and do not insist that he has to be home on certain days.  When my son turned 18, he asked me if he still had a visitation schedule (not that we had been really following any kind of schedule for about 2 yrs) and I said no, but your father still wants to see you--so that's between you & him.  So nothing really changed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2000
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 7:48pm

No, I don't think teens should be decision makers about how a family works - that is beyond their responsibility and right.   I think jobs and activities should factor into a reasonable schedule, but a teen should not get to decide he doesn't feel like seeing one of this parents, nor should a teen get to dictate the terms by which he will see either of his parents.  Botton line, the adults are in charge.  I say that from a parent perspective.  From a kid perspective, what would it look like if one of your parents is content to just let you opt out?  In your youth, you'd probably feel satisfied that you are getting your way.  However, as an adult looking back on your child years, wouldn't you feel like one of your parents disengaged or gave up on you?