Helping your children through your divorce can be challenging. You have to think about the emotional aspects of the matter, but you also need to find ways to help them adjust to living in two homes. This is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be too difficult.
The parent who remains in the marital home might have it a bit easier since the child is already comfortable there. There may be slight changes to how things work, but they can usually adjust pretty well. The parent at the other home might have some work to do.
Give the child their own space
Even if you have limited space in your home, your child needs to have an area to call their own. Some children might have a room, but others might have a smaller area. This is key to making them more comfortable because they need to know that they belong. Additionally, they should have a spot to put their belongings, so they don’t have to always carry them from one home to the other. If possible, let the child have some say in decorating their space.
Discuss how the transition time will go
Transition time is sometimes a source of stress for kids because they don’t know what is going to happen. It is usually easier for younger children if the parent they are currently with brings them to the other parent. This gives them the ride to that home to adjust to the change. While you are passing the child to the other parent, don’t discuss contentious matters. Save those for when the kids aren’t there so that you don’t add difficulties to an already stressful situation.
Make rules for your home clear
You might be tempted to let things slide while your child adjusts to the new life. This sounds like a good idea, but it can cause more trouble for the child. Instead of taking that chance, set the rules right away and enforce them. Your children can benefit from the consistency that this provides.
Encourage them to talk to you
Your children have to deal with a lot of scary emotions because of your divorce. You can help them work through these turbulent emotions, but make sure that you find out what’s going on with them. While they should be free to let out their feelings, they must do this respectfully.
Since children need stability, you should try to set the terms of the parenting agreement as soon as possible. The provisions should include what will help your children now.