Advice please - the practicalities of the first access visit in 5+ years

(5 Posts)
WhatAHooHa Fri 04-Sep-15 15:15:23

DSC's mum has arranged to come and see them next weekend. DSS just starting 6th Form, DSD in Year 9, they haven't seen her since DSS was in year 5 or 6. She last spoke to them on the phone 2 years ago. No birthday, Xmas cards etc.

Neither are that keen on seeing her but we have talked about it and think it needs to be done - it could, at best, restart the relationship or, at worst, give them some closure if they decide they don't want to see her again. (DH was given custody due to abuse and neglect when they lived with her; its been a rocky ride).

So, how do we make this visit bearable? We're meeting her at the ferry port (ILs live nearby) to cut down her costs and travel time. If we just go and sit in the il's house I think it will be awkward, stilted, conversation, but there are no activities as such around there (I thought something like bowling would be good as its a distraction from crap conversation!). So, how do people arrange 'awkward' access visits? How do you make them flow? DH wants to just leave her to it as he has a lot of bitterness and wants it to fail. I would like to make the most of the opportunity but I'm drawing a blank. When they were younger we used to provide board games etc but they're a bit old for that now!

vvviola Fri 04-Sep-15 15:22:54

How long is the visit meant to be for? Would a walk on the beach do? Followed by a coffee somewhere?

(No experience of access visits as such, but just remembering what worked as a late teen when having to meet birth family of an extended family member - long story!)

WhatAHooHa Fri 04-Sep-15 16:05:48

That would be our first choice normally as we're quite an outdoorsy family, but the beach there is tiny - you could probably cover it in about 45 seconds and DH doesn't want her in our car would feel awkward driving her about to find another beach. She also turned up to a previous visit in thigh-high pvc stilettos which would have made walking on sand tricky! A cafe would at least be neutral territory and the kids could at least people-watch and enjoy a hot chocolate or two.

OutToGetYou Sat 05-Sep-15 14:17:40

MacDonalds!

Morganly Sun 06-Sep-15 21:38:08

Do you and your H need to be there? Wouldn't it be better to leave them alone? I can't imagine an audience would help them to talk to each other. You could just tell the kids where you will be when they are ready to go home.

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