If you are getting divorced, you know it can be an upsetting, overwhelming experience. It can be even more so for your children. To make these times of transition a little easier on your children, you can do a few simple things.
Make your house feel like home
Your life can be chaotic now, especially if you are living somewhere new, or your ex has moved out of your home. This can also make your living arrangements chaotic, which can be stressful for your child.
Regardless of where you live or how often your child is with you in the home, create a space where they can feel comfortable and safe. Some ways to do this include:
- Cleaning and decorating their room
- Having security items they love in their space
- Setting up their toys and books in an accessible place
- Letting them pick out some new things, like bedding or paint colors
- Putting up pictures of their friends and family (including a picture of your child with the other parent, if possible)
Creating a space that feels like home – like their home, more specifically – can provide a great deal of comfort for your child.
Make sure they have someone to talk to
Children can experience many new and painful emotions when parents split up. They should have someone to talk to about these feelings and any fears they have. Being open and available to them during this time – and respecting their emotions – is crucial.
However, while you may tell them they can talk to you, not all children will want, or be able to speak openly with their parents. As such, you may wish to have them meet with a counselor or therapist. Having your close family and friends to talk to can also be helpful for them.
Make smooth transitions
It takes time to adjust to a “new normal” when you share custody. Until it feels this way, focus on minimizing disruptive exchanges. When a child goes between parents, ensure they have everything they need. Be on time and dependable. Be patient and respectful with them and their other parent.
These tips can help your child feel more comfortable and supported during difficult times.