Moving from one home to another is a big transition for some people. When you have children, they will have to make this transition often as they move from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home. This can be difficult, especially when they aren’t quite sure about what is going on.
You will have to find ways that you can help them to transition as well as possible. Trying to make these times easier can help them to feel less stress and to adjust to the situation better. Some children might begin to settle into the adjustment period better as time goes on so be sure to encourage them to keep the right attitude as they learn how to live with this new way of life.
Belongings in each home
Instead of having your children bring their clothing and toiletries back and forth between homes, each parent should have these things for them. Some items, such as school bags or “lovies,” might need to be brought with the children, but they won’t feel settled if they have to continually pack bags. Being able to keep their things at their parents’ homes can help them to feel like they belong.
Transition days focused on the children
Transition days aren’t ones on which you should bring up contentious matters. Let these days be focused on the children so they can have as little stress as possible. Any issues that you have with your ex can be discussed in private when the children aren’t around.
Traditions help them thrive
You can set traditions for the child to look forward to on transition days. These don’t have to be expensive or flashy. You may order pizza for dinner on transition day and enjoy a movie with your child. Cooking a meal together or planning the meals for the time your child will spend with you might also be a good idea.
Relay the schedule in advance
Your children should know the schedule in advance of changeover days. You can do this with a calendar on their phone if they are older or with a paper calendar if they are younger. Try not to go too far in advance because this can confuse some children. Instead, focus on how many days the child has remaining with you before going to your ex’s house. Your ex can handle the countdown to the child coming back to your home.
Review your parenting plan periodically to ensure that it is still being followed. If there are issues that come up, this plan can give you an idea of how to address them. As the children mature, the plan might need to be modified accordingly.