Helping children deal with two homes
Children whose parents are dividing their households into two may have a challenging time accepting their new reality. Instead of living together in the same household with both of their parents, they must now learn to live with each one separately. This can create a challenging situation for all who are involved because there are many changes that need to take place. To make it easier for your kids to adapt to their new lifestyles, here are some things you can do.
Establish a schedule
Your kids need consistency in their lives, especially now that you and their other parent are no longer together. Moving back and forth between two homes can make it hard for your children to know what to expect unless you create a schedule. Stick to any schedule that is made so that your kids can get a sense of predictability and become more accepting of the situation.
Develop your own parenting style
It is not uncommon for kids to prefer one parent over the other during a divorce. Regardless of how hurtful this may seem, you should still maintain your own positive parenting style. Make sure that it does not conflict or interfere with your former spouse’s parenting behavior. Avoid bribery and playing the favorite parent because this will only make it harder for your children to become comfortable with their new living situation.
Maintain common ground
Disagreements may occur periodically between you and your ex-spouse about your kids, and there may be things going on in their lives that you may not agree with. However, you should avoid voicing your negative concerns around the children. Negative feelings and words that you have for your former spouse should take a backseat to the situation. If you must discuss them, make sure that you do so with non-offensive language to encourage communication and understanding. Learn to respect the other parent and your new relationship with them for your kids’ sake.
Living in separate households may not be easy at first. However, parents should adjust their lifestyles and behaviors to accommodate their children. They should communicate often and work collaboratively to minimize complications and conflicts. Parents who work together and are focused on their well-being are better equipped to make the transition an easier one for their children to deal with. If you are in the midst of a divorce and want to learn more about how to make things easier for your kids, you should speak with an attorney who specializes in collaborative divorce.