Dear Annie: I am a divorced father of two teenagers. Their mother and I have maintained a good relationship when it comes to raising the children.
However, an issue has now come up. Since my divorce, I have enjoyed international travel to the Caribbean. My children have seen many pictures and heard my stories and are very interested in traveling with me. I now think they are old enough to enjoy it. Their mother, however, is afraid to fly and has not been willing to sign the paperwork required to get passports for the kids. We have had discussions about this over the years without success.
I think this would be a wonderful experience for my children, and I’d like to take them with me to the tropical climate. In our last discussion, my ex said I could take them anywhere I wanted within the U.S., but she wasn’t comfortable having them outside of the country if something were to happen. I offered to pay for her passport so she would have it in case she needed to see them, but she has made no effort to follow through. What do you think? – Kidless in the Caribbean
Dear Kidless: Your wife is afraid to fly and is also afraid that something will happen to the children. This is slightly irrational, which means it will be difficult to convince her that the kids will be safe. You can ask her to accompany you on this trip, you can recommend that she work on her fears with a therapist, or you can simply wait until the kids are a little older. Sometimes life demands patience.