One of the most common challenges for separated or divorced parents is helping their children feel comfortable while living in two separate homes. For kids who divide their time between their parents, it can be difficult to adjust to feeling at home in separate locations and still feel like they have a place where they belong.
To ensure you help your children settle in, there are a few important tips to follow.
Have Kids Help Move
If you are going to be moving, have your kids help you pack. At least have them gather what they want in their new place.
Even if they won’t be staying with you full time, knowing some familiar furniture and toys will still be with you can be comforting for them. Make sure you wrap fragile items and work with your movers for the moving of your family’s belongings.
If you’re moving a considerable distance and decide to ship the family car consider using an enclosed auto transport which will protect your car from the elements (wind, dirt, dust, rocks, snow, rain and hail) while en-route to your new hometown.
Maintain the Same Rules
The same rules should be applied to each home the children live in to avoid confusion and maintain consistency in both locations. Establish the same bedtime, schedule, and boundaries to ensure they can maintain the same lifestyle whether they’re spending time with their mother or father.
Provide Kids with Their Own Space
Children need to have their own space when they’re living with each parent to ensure they feel comfortable and understand that each place is their home. Kids that don’t have their own room can often feel like a visitor if they don’t have the space to hang up decorations or posters.
Use a Calendar
Keep a calendar posted in each home that details where the child will spend their time during the month. For small kids and even teenagers, it can be confusing understanding where they’ll be living the following week.
Use a calendar that is on display in the living room or kitchen where they can stay updated on their schedule each day.
Connect With Other Neighborhood Kids
To ensure your child can have fun while spending time at each home during a separation or divorce, it’s important to find other children who live in the neighborhood to help your kids make friends. They’ll look forward to living at each house if they can connect with other children their own age when playing sports or having sleepovers.
This can help the children to feel less isolated and socialize with other kids who are their age, which will make it easier for them to cope with the new transition. Going through a divorce or a separation can be devastating on each family member due to the pain involved.
For many children, it can be difficult to cope with the changes involved and living in a new setting. Fortunately, you can take several steps to make two places feel like home, helping your child feel settled while living in two separate homes as they adjust to the transition.