One of the most difficult challenges for children after a divorce can be getting used to living in two different homes. This sometimes scary and confusing change can be made easier when parents help their kids make the transition. One of the most important things to remember is that you want to instill a sense of consistency. Doing so will let the child understand that it doesn’t matter where they are living for the moment, they can feel comfortable. Below is a list of items that you can consider doing to assist your children with life after a divorce. These can be done whether you are the parent moving into a new home, or if you are working with your ex-spouse to create a mutually beneficial parenting plan.
Establish a space for your children
Ideally your new home, apartment or condo would have a room that your child can call their very own. This is a space where they can sleep, keep some of their favorite items, and decorate to their liking. If all your children cannot have their own room, try allowing the child to decorate or rearrange a space in your living room or kitchen. Doing this will help the child feel at home in a new place and make visits easier, especially for younger children that may have a harder time dealing with change.
Try and keep rules consistent between homes
Building a sense of consistency will help your child understand that regardless of where they are spending their time, they have the same expectations. This includes what they can eat, when bedtime is, what they can watch on television, and what chores or responsibilities they have. It is fine if your rules are not identical between homes but do your best to ensure that they stay the same with each visit. Children can quickly comprehend that they are expected to act differently in various settings. For example, school, church, a friend’s house or when you go to visit your grandparent’s house.
Help your children get used to their new routine
The sooner children can get comfortable with their new schedule, the easier these changes will be. Even if the child is sick, you should consider moving the child to the other parent’s house if the schedule calls for it. This will help your youngsters understand that both parents can take care of them when they are not feeling well. Consider what is going to be easiest for your family and your child. In most cases, it is easiest for the parent that already has the child to transport them to the new location for drop-offs.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you think of things that you may not have considered before. Remember this is a new situation for everyone. The more preparation and learning that can be done the better things will be for your entire family. This article tends to address issues that can face parents after the divorce. However, the process doesn’t always end there. If you live in Utah and need custody or parent-time attorney call Burton Family Attorneys at (801) 393-1106 to speak with a legal professional or schedule a consultation.
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