Boca Raton Family Law Attorney Ronald Zakarin
After a divorce, your children’s lives are going to change completely. Though you want to do everything that you can to make the transition as smooth as possible, it is not always easy.
One of the hardest parts for children is going back and forth between two homes. Here are some ways to make that transition go a little smoother.
Make sure that the same rules apply at both homes. While you are two different parents and may have different parenting ways, your children need to know what the rules are. By sticking to the same rules and routines, it makes it easier for your children. Not only do they know what is expected of them, they also know that you and your ex-spouse are united.
Too many children go from mom to dad (or vice versa) if one parent says no. However, by being united, you can make a decision together that is best for your children. You might even need to talk about it before you make the final decision and that is alright too.
Get ready in advance for the change-over. You should remind your children a few days before you have to send them to their other parent’s home. This gives them time to mentally and physically prepare.
They should also pack early. If they wait until the last minute, they will forget something. Instead, help them pack at least a few hours before they need to leave. If there is something that they can’t forget (like their favorite blanket), have a reminder so that it is not forgotten.
Even better, have things at both homes. To make the transition as easy as possible, you should have things for your children at both homes. Toothbrushes, pillows, and toys should be at both homes so that there is less to pack (and forget), making the whole process go a little smoother.
If you are able, you should try to have clothes at both homes too, eliminating even more packing. However, we all know that our children are going to have to take at least one thing back and forth!
It can also be helpful if the parent drops off the child after their time together. This is often easier because then the other parent will not be interrupting anything. Instead, when your time is up, you should drop your children off!
If your children need space with the drop-off, give it to them. Though you may have missed your children terribly, some children need a little time to adjust and get reacquainted with their home again. Just leave them alone for a little while until they get their bearings. If you push, you might have trouble when it comes time to change parent.
If your children want (or need) the other parent when you have them, think about your children. You really need to be the bigger parent. If your children have a problem and they need to talk to your ex-spouse, allow them to call and talk to him or her. If they need to go shopping and only you (or your ex) will do, make sure that it happens. If your children can’t go to sleep without saying goodnight to both of you, let them make a short phone call every night.
The more that you work together, the more adjusted your children will be. You also need to face the fact that, if you are a mom, your boys will need their father and your daughter may need you in the middle of the night when she gets her period. By working together, your children will know that they can count on both of you.
Though divorce is hard on everyone, it can be even worse for your children. Going back and forth between homes can really be confusing and hard for some children. By having items at both homes, you will have less packing and more time to enjoy your children.
You should also make sure that you are united as parents. The rules shouldn’t change between homes. You should also still make some decisions together so, if one child comes to you, he or she knows that the other parent will have the same answer.
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