Even when there isn't much distance between homes, it can feel like two different worlds when a child has to move from one parent's home to the other's. The rules might differ and the consequences for breaking the rules might not be the same. There may be changes in schedules. Because of the difficulties that come with learning how to live in two homes, children can often become stressed and upset. It is up to the parents to find ways to help the children adjust.
One thing that you have to remember when you are in this position is that the houses should be homes to your children. Kids shouldn't ever feel like a visitor in either parent's home. There are a few ways that you can make your kids feel at home, including:
- Give your child their own room or space. They need to have a place to keep the belongings that will remain at your home.
- Have the essentials ready for them. This means keeping toiletries, clothing, toys and other items at your home so the kids only have to bring what they want from one house to the other.
- Let them help decorate. If they have their own room, let them choose the colors or designs for it. Even just being able to pick a comforter can help.
- Plan for their favorite meals and activities. This lets them know you are thinking of them and helping them to feel at home.
It might help if you and your ex can make the child custody situation as relaxing as possible. One thing that might help is coming up with the parenting plan as quickly and amicably as possible.