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Teenage Problems/Son no longer wants to visit dad


My sons father and I have been divorced since 2002. There was no legal custody arrangements, only a verbal one which has been fine. I ask for no child support as well even though I am the primary parent. He had been with his dad on Sat afternoons until Tues (he takes him to the bus stop and picks him up). My son is now 15 and is no longer wanting to visit his father. The reasons are because there is "nothing to do" while at his house. He says all he does is sit around and do nothing. When he is with me, he is out with his friends or playing xbox...typical things teens do. His dad has no cable, internet and he has nobody he hangs out with anymore there. His dad struggles with money so its not like he can go out each weekend and spend money to get him to want to hang out with him. He didnt go at all last weekend. Its getting to that point where i have to make him go at least one night to try and keep that relationship.

Him and his stepfather are friendly but not close. Kind of see each other as room mates. I do most of the parenting and rule enforcing. He thinks that he needs to go see his father each weekend as a way to get away from the drama at our house due to the issues we deal with at home. My son has issues with sub abuse, and him being gone kind of gets him away from the negative friends he has. I let him stay with us this past saturday and we ended up finding out that him and some other friends vandalized a house. These things just dont happen over at his dads house. So his stepdad said that it will be a while before he can stay with us on a Saturday. Im not sure how to take that. I can see his point, but then i dont want him dictating when he can and cant be with me.

With that said, how should i handle this? I dont think his dad really tries to find ways to keep him interested in coming over. And when i tell my son that he is going to go, he gets angry and acts like a jerk. I just feel like he needs his real father in his life more than ever now.

Hi Traci,

Thank you for writing to me.  Your son is 15 years old and that is old enough to know whether or not he wants to visit with his dad. Since his dad does not have cable or internet, your son feels more like this is punishment than a visit.  I don't understand his step-father because he knew that you had a son when he married you.  His step-father and you should have discussed what would happen if one day your son did not want to visit with his father.

Your son should not be allowed to socialize with his "friends" that use drugs and gets into trouble with the law.  You are the parent and you have to set boundaries and make sure that he follows them.  It seems to me that his father really does not want to be bothered with him but will tolerate him if he must.  

You should talk with your son's father and find out why your son does not want to go over his house.  15 year old males and females are not always truthful.  Find out what goes on over his father's house and suggest ways in which his father can be more helpful in his son's life.  These are some difficult teen years.  His step-father does not have a say in when your son goes to his father's house or when he will remain home with you.  Make suggestions to his father of things they can do together that don't cost money, such as going to the park and shooting hoops, taking a ride or a walk together, going to the library, or just having pizza at home.  I understand that his father does not have a lot of money and is struggling, however, he has an obligation to assist in the raising of your son.  He has to set money aside for the time in which he will have his son.  If he plans something that cost money, be willing to pay your son's part.  

However, he is not paying child support and he is getting a free ride in your son's life and you appear to be the bad parent.  You cannot force a 15 year old to spend time with his father if he is against it.  Now your son feels as if he has no one on his side.  His father makes it difficult for him to want to spend time with him, his step-father does not want him home on Saturdays and you are in the middle.  But you are his mother and the one that will make the final decision.  If he does not want to go to his father's on Saturday you must have an agenda for him.  He cannot just hang out and get into trouble with the law and use drugs.  If he does not like your enforced agenda he will probably want to go to his father's house on Saturday as a way of just getting away and being able to rest on Saturdays.

Dr. Lee

Teenage Problems

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Dr. Shirley M Lee


I can answer questions relating to youth that are on probation, arrested, has anger management issues, lack of impulse control, problems in school and substance abuse issues. Additionally, I can answer questions about youth with sex issues, domestic violence, child abuse, child sex abuse, as the abuser and the one that has been abused, parent abuse, physical, mental and psychological abuse. I answer questions about marriage and divorce. I can't answer questions about medication that has been ordered by a psychiatrist and it's side affects or should you stop taking it. I can answer the question as to what reason the medication was ordered.


I have been providing care, guidance, and social services for children, adolescents, and their families for 32plus years. I work with young people who struggle with behavioral problems and issues at home and school. I assist our youth in developing healthy living habits and motivate them to become productive citizens. In addition, I work with the parents and families to motivate and encourage strengthening the family. I have worked with families that have been homeless, in poverty, peer pressure, and bullying. I currently counsel with youth that are on probation for battery, domestic violence, petit and petite theft, substance substance abuse and sex offenders. I also speak with their teachers and go into the homes and schools. I am a mentor to all these children and their parents. When help is needed beyond my expertise I will suggest where to take the child to receive the proper services.


Published 6 books and were sold at the Christian Book Store for one year.

Ph.d in Sacred Religious Counseling; Ph.d in Counseling Psychology; MA in Public Administration; BA in Paralegal; Clinically Certified Domestic Violence Counselor; CFARS (CHILDREN'S FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT RATING SCALE); and for adults the FARS (FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT RATING SCALE. I am also a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor.

Awards and Honors
Biblical Studies with highest Honors. Magna Cum laude.

Past/Present Clients
In the past I worked for two different agencies as a Case Manager, a Therapist and a Counselor for the youth. I worked under the leadership of the two agencies as an independent contractor. 3 years ago I began working my own business, which has been in existence since 2002 in counseling. Presently I am working with youth that are on probation and is court ordered to take an anger management and/or impulse control class with me. I am also registered with the county to perform marriage counseling and weddings.

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