DADI Blog

Helping Children Deal with Moving Back and Forth between Two Homes

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

Whether your children split the time between both parents equally or whether the time spent with one parent is only on weekends, holidays and a couple of weeks during the summer or more, they need help dealing with the situation.

Children need stability and familiarity in their lives and this can be very difficult when their belongings are in two different places. The set of rules can also be different between each household giving your child even more problems.

If it is at all possible both parents should sit down and talk about the set of rules and schedule for the child or children. Try your best to compromise. Remember, your child’s best interest is at the root of this. If you normally have dinner at 5pm, but your spouse, now that you no longer live together, does not get home from work until 6pm, then you should understand that dinner at 5pm is out of the question. Try to work out a schedule that you are both comfortable with including mealtimes, bedtimes, seeing their friends, etc.

Now, what about their belongings being in two different households? Well, the best way to do this with older children is to talk with them about what items that would like where or if they have special items that they wish to bring with them back and forth. Let them help make these types of decisions.

As for younger children, this can be very hard. If it is at all possible to have two of their toys that they normally play with, then you can have these at each home. But, of course for special blankets or teddy bears these will need to be an item that can also go back and forth with the children.

Make them feel special about having two homes and two special bedrooms etc. Always let them know how much both parents love them and want them to be happy, comfortable and secure no matter which home they may be at.

It may also help to allow them access to the telephone to call the other parent any time. The reassurance that the other parent is still there waiting for them can also bring them comfort and security.

If they are old enough, let them help decorate their new room in their new home. This will give them the feeling that it is their room even when they are not there. This will help them with feeling more comfortable and secure. You do not want them feeling that their presence is an inconvenience and you do not have room for them.

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