For adults, getting divorced often means the end of a relationship. For the children of divorcing parents, divorce often means significant changes in their daily lives and routines. No longer will they live in one home with both parents. Instead, they will have to go back and forth from one parent’s home to the other.
Using these tips may help parents ease the transition from living in one home to living in two for their children.
Make the kids comfortable
Too much newness and change often overwhelm kids. According to Parents magazine, doing things to create familiarity in new home environments for children of divorce may help them adjust to the changes. For example, parents may have the same sheet sets on their children’s beds at both homes, burn the same candles in both houses or include favorite personal items in their kids’ travel bags that go with them between houses. When setting up a new home, allowing kids to participate in decorating or furnishing their rooms sometimes helps them feel more comfortable.
Keep switch days smooth
Even after time has passed, switch days can be distressing for kids. Parents may help by allowing them time to adjust when arriving. To this end, they may develop a routine that includes making a favorite meal, playing a game, reading a book or simply allowing some alone time before jumping into activities.
Think of it as sharing time, not splitting time
According to PsychologyToday.com, experts recommend parents think of shared parenting as a truly shared experience. Instead of thinking of co-parenting as splitting time, it may help their children if parents look at it as sharing in the responsibilities and joys of raising their kids while living separately. Continuing to work together, making decisions for the best interests of their children, may help parents maintain a firm foundation for their children.
Their marriages not working out does not mean that parents no longer have any shared interests – they still have their children. Creating smooth transitions and a co-parenting plan may help families continue to grow and thrive, even after the end of a marriage.