Getting accustomed to a child custody arrangement can be challenging for parents and children. Often, children need to pack some of their things as they go from one parent’s house to the other.
For many children, going back and forth can feel unstable. In many ways, they may lose their sense of home since they do not have one familiar place to call their own.
Here are a few ways to help your children feel more at home in both parents’ houses.
Don’t be afraid of duplicates
Packing a bag every time they need to change from one parent to the next can significantly impact how stable and “at home” a child feels in each house. While it may not be practical to have duplicates of everything, when some of the most important items are at each place, it can make it seem more like home when your child gets there.
Having their own space
When it is your turn to have custody, it can be disheartening for your children to see that the area they thought of as their own is serving other purposes.
When your child is only with you 50 percent of the time, it is easy to use their room for your other needs. While this may be a practical necessity, it is essential for certain parts of your children’s space to be theirs without interruption.
Help your children create space in your home exclusively for them so they have something consistent to return to every time they come over.
Have some rules in common
You and your ex may not agree on everything, but you both want what is best for your children. It can be difficult for your children when the rules change from one house to the next.
While it may not be practical to have a complete set of rules that both parents agree on, try to find two or three significant rules that are consistent between both houses. For example, you may decide that your children should complete their homework before dinner so everyone can enjoy time as a family, regardless of the house they are at.
It can take a while for everyone to adjust to the child custody agreement. Making special efforts to make both houses feel like home can make the process a little easier for your children.