Helping Children Adjust To Having Second Homes
Children whose parents go through a divorce face challenges when it comes to adjusting to their new life. Having to live between the two parents’ houses can often be a very difficult transition, and parents can take some steps to help the children prepare for this change. One way to do this can be by helping make your children’s second home a good refuge for the children. The following tips can help parents with this process. The tips are applicable in situations where the children are about to move from their homes, in addition to those who are staying in their home, but will also be visiting the other parent.
Involve the Children in Decor
Parents can start by asking the children to help decorate their rooms or spaces at the new house or apartment. The children will likely spend a lot of time there during time sharing, and they need to create a space that is uniquely theirs. If the children are older, they can help with the actual physical painting or decorating of the space, while younger children can contribute by picking colors or a theme for the space.
Make them Comfortable
Parents should make sure the children are comfortable. The children should not feel as though they are inconveniencing others when they visit a parent, or that they are not truly wanted. This can happen when a child has no designated space at a parent’s home, and has to live out of a suitcase at the other parent’s home. It can also help if the children have clothes and toys at both homes.
Talk about Losing Friends
If a child will be changing schools because of the divorce, the parents should try and understand that this transition can be difficult as well because the child is leaving friends behind at the other school. Parents can help by talking with the child about how the new school is accepting him. If practical, the parent can also arrange for the child to still meet up with the friends from the other school.
Help the children understand the visitation schedule when they have to move between parents’ houses. This can help the children go from home to home easier, without feeling as though they are just being carted around. Explain any shifts in the schedule with the children early enough to allow them time to adjust to that change.
Rules at Each House
If the parents can agree, rules at both homes should be similar. If this is not possible, the parents should at least explain that the rules at each parent’s house should be followed regardless of what is done at the other parent’s house. If the rules are similar, it is easier for the child to follow this, however, if the rules are drastically different, or if one parent has no rules at all, it could lead to more confusion for the child.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
Sorting out child-related issues in a divorce can sometimes be the most difficult part of a divorce. If you are a parent about to go through a divorce, you need an attorney who understands the difficulty of divorcing with children. For a consultation with our compassionate and experienced child custody lawyers, contact the Law Offices of Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida.