"As children grow older, parents must give them greater freedom, including greater freedom to make mistakes. "

9 YO Girl Resistant To Visits With Dad

Question

I have a 9 year old daughter. Her mom and I split when she was 3-1/2 years old. We have a court ordered shared parenting plan. I have visitation 1 day/night each week and every other weekend from Friday evening until Monday morning. Note: I have never missed a day on picking her up for any visitation. In 2016, my daughter age 7 told her mom that she did not want to go to her dad's for the weekend. Her mom has always created anxiety with our daughter when it comes to our visitation. Hugging and kissing her when she she cries when I come to pick her up for visitation. I decided that my daughter did not have a choice but to come with me because she is a kid not an adult and her mom was furious with me. Now, my daughter has a grudge and really doesn't like me much. She no longer wants to play board games or just be around me when she is with me at my house. She isolates herself in her room now since her mother got her a smart phone. She watches videos or plays games on her phone / ipad / kindle. Her mom and I have failed her by not establishing any electronic device rules and she is out of control. She's addicted to the devices. She can do whatever she whenever she wants. I feel like a horrible parent and I'm really sad, but I'm afraid that if I take away her devices, then she will never want to come on visitations again. Do you think I'm wrong is forcing my daughter to come with me on court ordered visitations regardless of how she feels? Any other advice? Do you think a 9 year old would benefit by having her go to counseling? Or would this be a waste of money? I feel like a paralyzed parent. I'm stuck and don't know what direction to go.

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it!!

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