There are many changes that come with a divorce, but the ones that might be the most difficult to handle are those that involve the children. These are often more complex because you have to help the kids learn how to adjust to the new way of life. One of the most challenging things that they can have problems with is learning how to live between two homes.
Parents have a duty to help their children learn to cope with living in both houses. Ideally, parents will work as a team to make this happen. Ensure that you are truly listening to what your children are saying and how they are reacting so that you know what adjustments you need to make.
Explain that happiness can happen at both homes
Children might sometimes think that they can’t show one parent that they are having fun and are happy at the other parent’s home. This is something you can combat by letting them know that they are allowed and even encouraged to have enjoy both houses. They need to be reminded that both adults are still their parents and family so joy should transverse both homes.
Share the schedule and plans
Since kids thrive on predictability and consistency, a changing routine can be challenging. Let them know ahead of time what the schedule is and what plans you have. This gives them time to adjust to what is going to happen so that they can feel better as the changes occur. Be sure that you differentiate what is certainly going to happen from what may happen. You don’t want them to feel let down because things don’t go as planned.
Encourage communication at all times
Another thing that might make the changes difficult for kids is that they may not feel like they have free access to both of their parents like they did when everyone lived in the same home. Make it clear that they can call, chat or video with the other parent at any point. Give them ways to help this to happen and let them know that you fully support them having a meaningful relationship with the other parent.
It is best if you have clear guidelines and plan for everything noted in the parenting plan. If you and your ex can work together to come up with these terms, you might find that things are a bit easier to live with.