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Tips on helping children adjust to 2 homes

When parents in Belleville decide to call it quits on their relationship, children often find themselves shuffled between their original home and their other parent’s home. This can be a difficult time for children, especially if they are fairly young. It is important to parents to address their children’s emotions and help them adjust to the new reality in their life.

Helpguide.org states that one way, parents can make the child custody adjustment less stressful is to set up both households in a way where there is a consistency. For example, parents should support one another in the discipline of their children, enforcing the decisions of one another, regardless of where the behavior occurred. Parents should also try to have similar rules pertaining to bedtimes, doing homework, time on the computer and curfew for older children.

For the parent who is setting up a new home, Parents magazine points out the importance of making it a comfortable place for the child. This can be done by trying to make the child’s new bedroom feel like the current bedroom. For example, if children have a favorite dish set or a nightlight, parents can obtain a duplicate item for the new home or let the children bring the items with them. The new house should have things for the child on hand at all times such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, hairbrushes, soap, shampoo, pajamas, books, movies and so forth.

When children are transferred from the custody of one parent to the other, the parent who has the child should deliver the child. The parent receiving the child should downplay the trauma by preparing beforehand for the child’s arrival. A routine favorite game, video, book or even a meal can provide the child a measure of comfort and stability. Parents can also lessen the stress for children by keeping visitation calendars in both homes to help the child remember and prepare for the home switch.

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