After a divorce, you may feel like your life has turned upside down. Of course, if you have children, you may also need to consider how the change has impacted their lives. They may struggle with the new living arrangements, and sometimes, those struggles may manifest in a variety of ways. During this time, you may want to be as compassionate and understanding as possible.
One important aspect that you and other parents may want to pay particular attention to is providing consistency for your children. If you and your ex-spouse share custody, your children will likely spend a considerable about of time in two different homes. Going from place to place can quickly become stressful for kids, and you may want to do your best to make the transitions easier on the children.
Provide personal space
Though your children may spend more time at one home than the other, the kids should still have their own space in each home. If they do not, they may end up feeling like a guest in one of the homes rather than thinking of it as their other home. The space can give the kids a sense of control, and by allowing them to decorate and personalize the space as they wish, they may feel more at home.
Necessities at both homes
In addition to having their own space, kids could benefit from having their own necessities at both homes rather than having to pack and unpack every time they transition from one home to the other. By having clothes, toiletries, toys and other items permanently at both homes, children may gain a sense of security and comfort.
Of course, it may not seem feasible for each child to have two of everything. In those cases, your children may want to take a toy or other items from one house to the other. Rather than refusing to allow a child to take his or her stuff from house to house, you may want to encourage your child to make him or herself at home. Additionally, you may want to ensure that you help your kids return any items that they may bring to your house.
Rules and schedules
As part of your child custody agreement, it may be wise to include terms about the rules that both parents should follow regardless of which home the children are in. Additionally, you should determine what your parenting schedule should look like and the responsibilities each parent has for keeping to the schedule. In order to determine the best arrangements for your situation, you may wish to explore your options.