Learning to transition from one home to the other is one of the biggest challenges that children face when their parents divorce. Not only do they have to deal with the differences in the rules, but the adjustment that comes with having to go to sleep in a new room and deal with each home’s schedule can also be difficult.
Parents should work with their children to ensure that they aren’t having too difficult of a time with the transition between homes. Showing them support and helping them through this can ensure that they are thriving in the current situation and learning how to adjust to various life changes.
Make the schedule clear
It can be difficult to relay this information to younger children, but older kids might benefit from knowing what their schedule will be like in the upcoming days. They may want to know how long they will get to spend with each parent and may want to know what will happen on holidays. If possible, write everything out for them on a calendar. You don’t have to go too far into the future, but try to give them a glimpse into what it will be like for the next few weeks or even a couple of months.
Another concern of kids when they split their time between parents is that they won’t get to speak to the parent they aren’t with. To address this issue, you need to encourage your children to communicate with the other parent while they are with you. Additionally, remind them that they can contact you whenever they feel the need. Ask your co-parent to encourage that, as well. This can be done through phone calls, as well as instant messages, texts or video chats.
Focus on creating a positive atmosphere
Remember that you aren’t competing with your ex over who is doing more for your children or who is having the most fun with them. The goal you should have right now is to be the best parent you can for your children. Build a meaningful relationship with them and let them know that you are there for them. Keep things positive at your home and share your child’s joy when they do something fun with the other parent.
Be sure that you have a solid parenting plan that puts your children first. Their needs have to be the priority in these cases. As their needs change, you might have to seek a modification of the custody schedule.