5 Simple Ways to Help Children Cope with Living in 2 Homes After Divorce

Experiencing divorce or separation can be very stressful for all parties concerned. This is particularly true in cases where children are involved. Not only do the kids have to come to terms with their parents splitting up, but changes to living arrangements can be very stressful. 

For best outcomes, adults can make use of the skilled lawyers Essendon and other Australian cities’ locals rely on to get them through the process. It’s equally important to make sure that children of broken households get the support they need to make the transition. 

Can Children Live Happily in Two Separate Homes?

Irrespective of the age children are at when their parents decide to get divorced or separated, there’s no denying that it creates a high level of anxiety. Alternating between two homes and two sets of rules can make the transition very difficult. 

Despite their own stresses and anxieties, it’s important for parents to ensure that adequate support systems and strategies are put in place to make the transition easier for the kids. It’s important to work towards a setup where children can function happily in both of their homes.

If you’re currently experiencing this situation, then this article is for you! Keep reading as we take a closer look at ways to ease your children into this new way of living. 

Make Transition Periods as Smooth Possible

As one of the partners experiencing a divorce or separation, it might be difficult for you to control your emotions. It might even be difficult for you to cope with your children staying over at the other parent’s home for extended periods. An effective start is to explain the concepts of co-parenting and joint custody where all parties are together, without fighting.

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It’s important for your children to see you coping. If they see both parents coping with the new arrangements, it’ll be easier for them to make the adjustment. Explain the new living arrangements to them and encourage them to look forward to time with the other parent. 

Maintain a Disciplined Routine in Each Home

Children deal better with change and stress if their daily routines remain as stable as possible. It’s important to maintain existing schedules and routines for activities like:

  • Mealtimes
  • Playtime
  • Bedtime

Going to visit the other parent shouldn’t be a reason to neglect weekend homework or school assignments. 

It’s important for both parents to avoid trying to be the “fun” or “favourite” parent by allowing the children to do what they want. Ensure the children have designated bedrooms in each home with the same rules they’re used to. Explain to children that the routines won’t change, but that they’ll extend across two households. 

Duplicate Comfort Items in Both Houses

Experts agree that it’s important to keep duplicate items in both homes to make changeover days easier and less anxious. This will prevent children from getting stressed over having to pack and unpack bags every time they have to visit the other parent. 

Some duplicate items to make packing easier include the following:

  • Clothes & shoes
  • Toiletries
  • Favourite books
  • Craft supplies
  • DVDs and other forms of entertainment
  • Favourite foods 

Ensure the Children Feel Comfortable in Both Homes

Depending on each person’s particular circumstance, some new homes might be smaller than others. This means in one home children might have their own bedrooms while in the other home they need to share spaces. 

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Despite this, it’s important for them to feel comfortable in each space. Encourage them to decorate their space in the new home and they will potentially feel more at home.

You can even ask them to take photos of their alternative rooms and share them with the other parent. They shouldn’t feel like they have to keep it a secret. Tell them they are allowed to have fun at both places! 

Show the Children that You Will Be Fine 

Many children feel anxious because they feel as though they need to choose between parents. They feel guilty if they have fun at the other parent’s home, imagining it’s like picking a side. 

Explain to them that they should focus on the memories they’re making with the other parent. Encourage them to take photos of the good times they’re having and be interested when they’re sharing these memories with you. 

While it might be stressful to let your kids go away for an extended period without you, find something to do during this time. If you seem distraught every time they need to leave, it will only make the situation worse! Start a hobby and show your children that you also had a good time while they were away. 

Final Thought

Divorce or separation can’t happen without a certain degree of heartache, anxiety and stress. It’s important for parents to put their own emotions aside and ensure that children maintain as much routine and structure as possible. 

During this transition period, it’s important to give children extra attention and allow them to express their emotions. It’s up to you and your partner to create a happy, safe and comfortable environment at both homes!

 

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