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Helping your children feel comfortable in both parents' homes

When parents divorce, they want their children's lives to be impacted as little as possible. Of course, there will be changes. A significant change is often the fact that they are splitting their time between their two parents' homes.

Whether your kids spend an equal amount of time in both homes or they're only in their non-custodial parent's home only on weekends and vacations, it's essential that they feel comfortable in both places.

For many kids, their bedroom is their sanctuary. It's the place where they can express themselves through decor, artwork, posters, toys, electronics and more. If you're able to provide your children with their own rooms in each house, that's great. If not, at least have special drawers in a shared bedroom just for them or give them a space where they can play, do arts and crafts and feel comfortable.

In an ideal scenario, both parents maintain just about everything a child needs in their home. This way they don't have to pack a suitcase full of clothes, toys, books and other items when they move from one house to the other. If you can't do that, try to minimize how much they have to carry with them.

Keep transitions smooth and positive so that your kids don't dread them. This is not the time to confront your ex with whatever issues you currently have with him or her. Arrange a scheduled time each day when you will talk or video chat, but don't constantly be checking in and disturbing your children's time with your co-parent.

Let your kids know that they can talk to you about their time with their other parent without making you feel bad. Don't express anger, jealousy or negativity toward your co-parent to your children no matter what you feel. Kids generally want to feel that their parents are still united in caring for them and they can get along at least amicably.

If your child is experiencing difficulty dealing with these transitions from one home to another, it's always best if you can work with your co-parent to resolve the issues. If you can't, your family law attorney may be able to recommend changes to your parenting plan that can make things easier for your children.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "7 Ways to Help Your Kids Live Happily in Two Houses," accessed July 27, 2017

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