One of the most significant changes that children go through when their parents divorce is having to learn how to live between two homes. They won’t see both parents daily, and they will have to split their time. These big changes can make it very difficult for them to handle.
There are many ways that parents can help their children to adjust to having more than one home. One of the most important is that you need to ensure that your child isn’t dealing with stress related to the transition times.
The transition time when both parents are present might be scary for kids. This isn’t the time to have contentious discussions. Instead, keep things calm and relaxed for the children, so they aren’t getting stressed. Consider having the parent who has the children bring them to the other parent. The child can then begin to adjust on the ride instead of sitting there wondering when the parent picking them up will get there.
Create a space
Give them their own area. They may have a room of their own, but any space is suitable if they don’t have a bedroom of their own. They need to know that they belong there, so having a spot that is theirs can help. Let them decorate it in the way they want, if possible.
Set the ground rules
Every home has ground rules. During the adjustment period, you might be tempted to let them do whatever they want. This sets a bad precedent, so be sure to make the rules clear from the start. The children will also have stability from the rules, which can help them greatly.
It takes time for a child to realize that their parents want them to enjoy both homes. Encourage them to talk to you about what happens at the other house. Make it clear that you want to know about the fun experiences and anything else they want to share. You can also encourage them to have a meaningful relationship with their other parent.
Invest in duplicates
Carrying items back and forth between homes is a significant stress for children. Instead of making them do this, purchase duplicates of any items that you can. They won’t have to pack those, and they can focus on bringing the things that matter the most to them. Also, don’t force the child to leave favorite things at one home just because that parent bought it. Let them enjoy their things regardless of location.
Relay the schedule
Your children need to have an idea of what’s going on. You can let them know the plan ahead of time. Instead of allowing transition day to appear suddenly, let them know how many days they have until it happens. Putting this on a calendar might be beneficial.
Having a solid parenting plan can help everyone involved to adjust better. Try to get this set as soon as possible after the split.