Divorce introduces a lot of change into the lives of the people who are affected by it. And it is usually true that the people most affected by divorce—and thus by the change it brings—are children. When divorcing parents create an agreement that incorporates joint custody, it is an indication that the parents want to help their children’s adjustment to their new lives go as smoothly as possible. And when the changes brought on by divorce involve the introduction of a second home for the children involved, it may be tempting for the divorcing parents to believe that their work is done as it regards helping their children adjust to their new and different living situation.
But parents should proceed cautiously. When one parent lives in a new location, the children will very likely feel confused, perhaps even troubled, by the introduction of a new environment on top of the absence of one parent from the more familiar home. But, of course, change in and of itself does not have to be a bad thing. With a little time, attention, and effort, parents can turn the introduction of a new home for their children into a positive development.
Helpful Recommendations For A Smooth Transition
Here are some helpful recommendations to consider, if you find yourself in a situation that involves your children having to become accustomed to your new place, or your divorced partner’s:
- Give your children some autonomy to make their new place special for them. If you are buying furniture or painting walls, let your children help to determine what goes into the space and what color to paint the walls.
- Encourage familiarity in the new place. Children will adjust better when the excitement of new environs is balanced with familiar belongings.
- If you are the parent who is remaining in the more familiar location, resist the temptation of competing with your ex. Prioritizing your children’s well-being means that you may have to tamp down your desire to prove to your children that you’re the “cooler” parent. Empathize with your kids, and see their new situation from their perspectives, as well as from yours.
- Be thoughtful about what your children pack for their visits to the new home. You can alleviate stress and save time by supplying the new house with toiletries, changes of clothes, DVDs, etc.
- Above all, find the energy to work with your ex to ensure that your children are receiving consistent messages from you. This will give them a sense of stability and predictability.
For more comprehensive assistance with these issues, consider contacting AMS Mediation at 1- 952-252-1492.