How to Make a Child Comfortable in Two Homes
Sometimes, marriages don’t work out. When a child is involved, it can be a difficult situation to manage. According to the online resource, Psychology Today, the change from their normal routine can be extremely hard for some children to cope with.
In recent years there has been a move towards 50/50 custody splits, meaning more children are forced to live between two separate homes and home dynamics. While shared custody has been shown in many studies to be beneficial to the child’s overall well-being and development, some children experience stress with this transition.
There are a few steps you can take to make your child feel comfortable living in two separate houses. Below we’ll explore a few basic, yet highly impactful things you can do to make things easier on your child.
1) Keep a Number of Familiar Objects in Both Places
Whether one house is new, or whether both parents end up moving, having a few well-known objects around for the child can be very helpful. In the kitchen, living room, and bedroom, each parent can place items that the child is used to seeing, such as a certain lamp or a piece of furniture. One common item does include a teddy bear or blanket, something they can use for comfort.
2) Ask for the Child’s Input
During a separation or divorce, kids may feel like they are not being listened to. According to William Doherty, Ph.D., director of the marriage and family therapy program at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, one way to make the adjustment to a new home easier can be to let the child help with decorating the new place.
Simple ideas like this can go a long way in making your kid feel more comfortable.
3) Make a Calendar
It can be confusing going from one home to another. A child may have issues keeping track of when they will be where, what activities may be going on, or if a weekend is for one parent or the other.
Having a calendar can help avoid this confusion.
Not only does the calendar provide a structure and sound visual, but also helps build foundational habits revolving around organization and keeping a schedule.
4) Help Your Children with Their Travel Bags
While there are some basic items you can keep at each home, such as toothbrushes or clothing, some items will need to travel between homes. By helping your children pack their bags, you participate in the transition between homes.
Little ideas like these can go a long way in making your child feel comfortable during a difficult time.
Do Your Best to Work Together
There are many helpful resources for helping parents learn how to work together even after a divorce or during a separation. Being able to put forth a united front helps your child continue to feel safe and secure as they grow. It may be difficult sometimes, but laying down a few basic rules will help you and your partner work together.
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