Having two homes may sound fun. When one home belongs to Mom and the other belongs to Dad, it can be sad and confusing for kids. A child can experience moments of excitement about a new home and neighborhood and sadness when it’s time to go to bed and mom or dad is not there. If you’re in the throes of divorce proceedings, it’s important to begin how you plan to proceed.
6 Ways to Make Switch Day Less Stressful
Kids thrive in routines, and if you are going through a divorce, you can take steps to make the reality of separate households easier and more comfortable for your ls.
- Ask Your Kid for Input: When you’re setting up new households and decorating, you should include your child in the conversation and let them choose the details of their living space, like paint colors and bedding.
- Keep Elements of Home Part of Your New Place: Your new place doesn’t have to be 100% new. It can be easier for children to settle down and become comfortable in a new space with elements of the old one included, like a favorite nightlight or scent in the air. These familiar items will make the new environment feel more like home.
- Don’t Make it a Competition: If your child has a new room at mom or dad’s new home that’s full of shiny new items, it can be tempting to want to make their old room at the family home nice and new as well. Changing a child’s original bedroom is a mistake. It’s not a competition over what room is better. It’s about creating comfort and security. Changing an existing room is the opposite of this goal.
- Create a Switch Day Plan: Packing and unpacking between homes can be exhausting for your kids. Not only are your kids likely overwhelmed by leaving things they need at one parent’s home and sad because they want to go home and get things they’ve forgotten. Constantly going back and forth to grab missed items can end up being a time drain, so it could be beneficial to have duplicates of certain items. Favorite items like books, pajamas, and toiletries can be at both places, so there are fewer items to pack each switch day.
- Create a Master Schedule: A master calendar with color codes for each household where kids can realize what house they will be at when school events or doctor’s appointments happen can save time and make life easier for everyone.
- De-stress Switch Day: Kids need time to settle in when arriving at each home. Don’t have a list of things waiting as your kid walks through the door. Eventually, life can go back to whatever normal is for your family but coming up with a transition day routine can be good for kids getting used to a new place and schedule.
Thoughtful and Measured Divorce Counsel
Helping your children adjust to new living arrangements can be difficult if you don’t start with a plan. You and your spouse can work together to make these difficult decisions if you start from a place of mutual concern for the children. So, it’s best to be prepared with a plan for how you will make the divorce process easier for everyone involved. At Palmer Rodak & Associates, we can help you begin working on your custody and time-sharing plans post-divorce. Call us today at (760) 573-2223 to schedule a consultation.