When you get a divorce and have a child, it's clear that your child will need to learn to live in two homes. For some, this can be difficult to adjust to. There are a few ways you can help.
Your child needs time to adjust to the new situation, but having two homes shouldn't be an extra strain. Both parents can work together to make this adjustment as easy as possible with these simple tips.
1. Get doubles of important items
It's absolutely vital that your child has certain items at each home. For instance, a child with a medical condition needs two medical devices, one for at his or her mom's house and one for his or her dad's house. A child with a favorite toy might want to take it back and forth, but it could be a better idea to get a duplicate, so there are no last-minute tantrums about a toy that can't be found.
2. Approach packing in an educated manner
How often your child spends at each home is as important as anything else. If he or she will spend three or four days with you and three or four with his or her mom or dad, then each home needs to have items that your child needs. It's probably best to have duplicates in those situations and to have two sets of clothing. If your child is only visiting dad or mom on the weekend, then buying double of everything may be unnecessary. Instead, make a list of things to pack each Friday, so your child doesn't forget anything important. Include the list at each household.
3. Give your child a say
It's possible that both mom and dad have to get new homes after the divorce. If that's the case, give your child some choice when it comes to choosing a new bedroom or how to decorate it. Creating a space where he or she feels comfortable in each home is the key to helping your child feel at home in both houses.
These are just a few tips for helping your child adjust to having two homes. With some time, your child can feel comfortable with the arrangement.
Source: Parents, "Making a Child Comfortable in Two Homes," Jeannette Moninger, accessed Sep. 15, 2017