Routine and Consistency Help Children Adjust to Two Homes

It goes without saying that after your divorce, your children may feel uneasy. You and your ex-spouse will need to reassure your offspring that although you are now living apart, you are still their parents and you will always love them. You will probably have to prove this frequently.

A major challenge for both of you will be to make the transition between two homes as easy as possible for the kids. Following these tips to maintain consistency in changing circumstances can help you achieve this objective.

Set a routine

Children expect routines, and they tend to do better when they have guidelines. You should strive to keep similar times for meals, homework and going to bed in both homes. Consistency is important, so if certain rules and activities must be different from home to home, try to minimize changes. As long as the children know how you and your ex both handle matters of discipline and behavior, they will feel more in tune with the situation.

Ensure a familiar environment

Too much change can be upsetting for a child, so make the environment in the new home welcoming and familiar. Discuss with the other parent what items belonging to the children you can split between homes. Duplicate when possible. Something as small as a favorite nightlight, piece of sports equipment or beloved book can make a child feel comfortable in the new home.

Have a non-compete agreement

Do not try to compete with the other parent. For example, if your child tells you how thrilled she is with the pink walls in her bedroom at the new house, resist the urge to repaint her old bedroom and purchase a whole new bedroom set just to show you can. Be yourself and resist one-upmanship.

Curb that powerless feeling

Remember that divorce brings many changes that are out of your children’s control, and they may struggle with a feeling of powerlessness. The prospect of adjusting to two households is often daunting, but your continuing love will help greatly with the routine and consistency children look for in their daily lives.

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