One of the post-divorce changes that your children will have to deal with is becoming acclimated to living between two homes. Adjusting can be difficult, partly because they will no longer see both parents every day — now it will be one at a time.
Fortunately, most children are resilient. With love, understanding and good planning, you and the other parent can make this transition go smoothly for your kids.
Involve your children
One of the quickest ways to help your children become more comfortable with the new home is to let them have a say in how it should look and feel. Allow your daughter to choose a new paint color for the bedroom that will now be hers. Set a time for you and your son to set up a basketball net together.
Plan out the transition
Devise a packing plan. Your children, especially the younger ones, will probably want to take certain items between the homes, so make sure not to forget any favorite doll or toy. However, you can cut down on lugging things back and forth by keeping certain items at both homes: pajamas, spare clothing, toiletries, books, sports equipment, etc.
Establish a routine
Too much change can be overwhelming for children. Create a comfortable environment in the new home not only by having things familiar to your children around but by keeping to a routine they are used to, one that they follow in both homes. For example, set times for doing homework, eating dinner and going to bed. Keep dual calendars to help your children keep track of which days they will be at Mom’s home and which at Dad’s.
Allow time to adjust
Whether your children are arriving at the new home or returning to the old, give them time to unwind and settle in. Remember that they are becoming used to being with only one parent at a time; as they move between homes, especially in the early stages, they may feel that loss keenly. Giving them a little space can help them adjust to the latest move, and in time, you should find that the transition from parent to parent, home to home, becomes easier for them.