No matter how you look at it, divorce is not a fun event to go through. It is hard on the parents, the kids and even the pets. Switching from one home to two is often difficult for children, and they may have a serious adjustment period. As their parents, you want what is best for them, but the reality is that they are going to be splitting their time between two homes. To make it a little easier on them to accept their new normal, there are a few tips to help them adjust.
1. Keep things as similar as possible
Children become quickly overwhelmed when there is too much change, and right now is a big time for changing. The more you can keep familiar to them, the better they will adjust. Surround your child at both homes with objects that are comforting and familiar to them. It may even be something simple such as cups or plates from a special collection. Pack some items in a special go bag that goes with them no matter what house they are at.
2. Create a routine for switching off
The switch between houses can be rough on kids. They need smooth, consistent transition without any drama to ensure that they are happy and comfortable at both houses. Try planning some fun surprises when houses are switched. Read a book together, play a game or have a favorite meal each time they leave to the other house to make the switch fun.
3. Always use a calendar
Once again, children benefit from consistency, and if you and your spouse are on the same page as far as dates and activities go, there is less likely going to be chaos. Use a calendar that you both have access to that highlights which days the child is at each house. This helps prevent misunderstanding and stress when parents are confused about dates.
4. Never use your child as the messenger
Whether the marriage ended amicably or not, you should always be the messenger when it comes to speaking to your spouse. Never ask your kids to pass along important details to your ex. Allow them to relax and enjoy the time with their parent rather than take on the responsibility of an important task. Speak to your ex as often as you need to stay on the same page, but allow your kids to stay responsibility free when it comes to the transition.
A divorce and parenting plan that works
You both want what is best for your children, but it is difficult to know how to put that down on paper and ensure that it is permanent. If you are seeking a divorce and are concerned about how it will affect your children, speak to an attorney immediately.