During a divorce, many kids experience a fear of losing one or the other parent. In a kid’s mind, splitting up the household sometimes equates with one parent dropping out of their life altogether. That fear can even lead to psychological issues like separation anxiety disorder.
Of course, barring extreme circumstances like abandonment or abuse, neither parent will actually disappear. However, it can be difficult for some kids to adjust to the idea of living two different households. That’s why it’s crucial for parents to provide reassurance and emotional support to prepare for the as they cultivate the best custody arrangement for their situation.
Adjusting to the change
There are many different variations on custody, some of which grant one parent significantly less time with the kids, while others are more evenly distributed throughout the week or month. In any case, there will now be two households for the kids to live in instead of just one, and that’s something it can take everyone time to adapt to.
The following are a few ways to help your kids transition into being part of two separate homes:
- Sit down with your kids and ask how they’re feeling. Take time to hear them out and listen to what they’re saying. The kids might be upset to learn that they’ll see less of one parent, so it’s important to help them process that kind of news.
- Let them carve out a space of their own in each home. Things like decorating a bedroom and knowing they’ll have privacy can go a long way in easing nerves and adapting to a new environment.
- Make sure there’s consistency. This may be in the form of having a shared calendar at both households to keep up with weekly schedules.
- Streamline the transition between homes. Prepare a bag that contains traveling items, but make sure there are familiar and necessary belongings that remain at each home.
- Practice good communication with your ex-spouse. Not only is this important for maintaining the above recommendations, but it also prevents stress from trickling down to the children.
By putting effort into these suggestions, you can help ease the transition period and make sure that both homes give kids reassurance and help calm potential anxieties after a divorce.