Divorce causes a lot of stress and emotion for both parents and kids. Helping your kids adjust to their new lives post-divorce may be one of your main focuses. There is no question that divorce will disrupt all family members, but there are ways to make the transition easier.
Adjusting to alternating between in two homes will be one of the major changes for your children. This new living arrangement may be a little tough for everyone at first, but it can work if you focus on a few simple things that can help the kids.
Let the children have some control
If you think the divorce is emotionally trying for you, imagine what it is like for the kids. They may feel confused about their new life, and not sure how to navigate it. Help them gain some control by letting them make their own decisions. Instead of setting up a bedroom for them, let them pick out the furniture and decorations they want. If you can, let them help you pick out your new place. Let the kids know they will have a new part-time place to live and give them ownership of their space.
Both residences should have the comforts of home
One way to keep your kids’ spirits up while in a new place is to have their favorite items on hand. This may mean duplicating books, stuffed animals and toys they already have. This could be a video game console, a bike or an art set. If your kids arrive at your new home and do not have access to the items they are comfortable with, they can become depressed and resent the fact they must be in this new place. You will most likely find it is easier to have your own items instead of hauling toys and comfort items back and forth.
A new home with new furniture and new toys can be exciting, but they will also want some personal items close to them. This does not have to be just items from their bedroom or toys that are usually stored in the garage. You should hang up past school art projects in your new home, adorn the fridge with items from your previous house and even school photos and knickknacks should be prominently displayed.
You may find that dividing up property between you and your soon to be ex-spouse can be difficult, but when it comes to the kids and where their personal items should be, the struggle is usually not as hard.
The goal when parents have separate homes is to make the transition as familiar and as easy as it can be for the kids. There is no reason to fret if they are not happy about this new wrinkle in their life at first, kids have a way to adjusting and adapting to their surroundings.