When divorce becomes the best option for you and your family, there are naturally a number of concerns that will arise. If you have kids, the most important of these concerns will be their safety and wellbeing. A major part of the process is preparing the children for the changes that will take place, including separate homes in most cases. With the right approach, you can minimize the stress. Follow these tips to make the shift easier for you and your kids alike.
Give kids the control they crave
It has been well-documented that divorce can have a number of potential adverse effects on children psychologically and emotionally. One of the biggest contributing factors is the lost sense of control kids are struggling with, but this can be helped with a few simple actions. You can restore a sense of authority by taking children shopping for new furniture and letting them pick it out. Give them full control over decorations for a new room, too, so that they have something to look forward to.
Keep both homes well-stocked with supplies
Another way to minimize the impact of splitting time between households is to replicate the necessities your kids have become used to. Both homes should be well-stocked with the toiletries, bedding and pajamas your children are familiar with. A hiccup in their routine can trigger the stress and anxiety you are trying to avoid, so it is a good idea to plan ahead for life at both homes.
Stay involved and maintain a presence
Either parent in a divorce can feel like his or her role in a child's life is being minimized. If you are sharing custody, you may deal with this while your kids are with your ex. It can be good for your own wellbeing and your children's, too, to place reminders of each parent in their new room. A simple photo in a frame can remind your kids of your presence and involvement in their life, even when they are not staying with you.
Keep favorites easily accessible
Divorce is an emotional process, but kids are often comforted by the presence of their favorite toys and belongings. Help them pick out some of their favorite things, such as books, dish sets and stuffed animals, to keep with them no matter which home they are staying at. This can establish a sense of stability that they will benefit from.
Negotiating custody and living arrangements in a divorce is never easy. A lawyer can offer legal representation and advice to help you protect your kids.