As you go through a divorce, the shockwave hits each family member differently. As you move from a two-parent household to a joint custody household, you may worry about how to help your children adjust to their new reality.
The American Academy of Pediatrics explains that children’s emotions can range from shock to anger and even relief. As your kids acclimate to both households, there are ways you can make the transition easier.
Be supportive of your child’s feelings
Divorce can cause a lot of mixed feelings for every person touched by the breakup. Facing your children’s feelings may be challenging at times, but you need to accept how they feel. Children need both parents to remain emotionally supportive and close to them. When both parents show that they can work together and care more about their children than fighting, the kids tend to feel more comfortable and less afraid of the future.
Create a stable routine in both households
Children thrive in routine. Communicate with your former spouse to create consistency in both homes. For example, if your children have one bedtime at the other parent’s house, try to stay close to it in yours. You can work out how you and your spouse want to handle discipline, routine and boundaries. When you have clear boundaries without a lot of variation, children learn what to expect and have less confusion. Divorce may cause a lot of turmoil in children and they need to feel like they have a stable, safe place in both homes.
Remember that two households are better than a hostile household. Most children do better with divorced parents than with fighting parents.