As if a divorce wasn't difficult enough on the children involved, when one parent seems to avoid seeing his or her children, it can really have a negative effect on those kids. You can't make someone see one's children. There are ways, though, to make the visitation schedule easier for him or her to see the kids.
Some Connecticut attorneys say to put in the visitation agreement that the custodial parent will be paid for a babysitter if the other parent doesn't show up. For some parents, that's not a problem at all. They use work to hide in and leave their children wondering. It's much better to use positive incentives, anyway. For example, the custodial parent could tell the other parent that the visitation times are flexible. The other parent could also be invited to a birthday party without having to pitch in on any of the work.
It's definitely not fair to the custodial parent. However, it's easier than telling your children why their other parent doesn't keep scheduled visitations or promises to visit and then doesn't. Children don't miss much and they will eventually figure out that you're the one who is reliable and there for them. It's important that you tell the children that their other parent does love them, but that it's difficult for him or her to come to terms with what has happened.
As the children grow up, they will either have or not have a relationship with their other parent. You will have the better end of the deal in that they will always know you are there for them and you love them. That's more than a lot of children have.
Source: Huffington Post, "Can I Make Him Visit Our Children?," Randall M. Kessler, March 03, 2016