Four Ways to Make Your Child Feel at Home while Sharing Custody
Despite the stressors involved, New Jersey family judges and divorcing parents often determine that doing what’s best for the kids will involve the children regularly moving from one parent’s home to the other. While there are some inherent challenges for kids who must move between houses on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, there are ways that parents can make children more comfortable in their homes. Read on to learn about ways to help kids feel at ease when switching between their parents’ homes.
1. Create a routine, and stick to it
Moving between two homes can leave kids feeling unsettled and lacking in stability. By creating a routine for your home, your children will feel more at ease, comforted by the predictability and sense that things are under control. Have a plan for what happens when kids get home, when dinner is served, and what happens in the mornings before school. Don’t worry about whether their other parent follows the same routine; just having a schedule for your own home will make a big difference.
2. Allow children to leave certain items in each home
It can be difficult to remember everything you need each time you pack to stay somewhere else, especially for small kids. It can also be stressful to constantly live out of a suitcase. As much as possible, make sure your kids have what they need in each home, so that they don’t need to pack a full bag each time they’re in a different home. Additionally, allowing them to have most of what they need in each home will mean that, in the event of a last-minute emergency, they won’t need to have packed a bag if they’re staying at the other parent’s home without an overnight bag.
3. Let kids have a space that’s just theirs
Make sure your child has a space that’s theirs to decorate and use for their own activities or toys. You might not have enough space to provide each child with their own room, but find a portion of your home where children can hang posters or artwork that they enjoy and that allows them to leave their mark on part of your home.
4. Keep things on hand that will help your children feel at home
Make sure your child feels thought of and loved by having items in your home that they enjoy, whether it be snacks they enjoy, movies they love to watch, or stuffed animals that bring them comfort.
If you’re planning to divorce in New Jersey, find compassionate, dedicated and effective legal counsel to represent you in court, and contact the Union law offices of divorce lawyer John B. D’Alessandro for a consultation, at 908-964-0102.