5 tips for making children comfortable in two homes

November 3, 2015

After divorce, it's best to establish your children's space by making choices that emphasize they are not temporary guests in two different homes. By including them in the process, duplicating key items, and allowing them to have mementos of life before divorce, you'll help them successfully transition to a two-house family.

5 tips for making children comfortable in two homes

1. Give your child a unique space

  • It's ideal for each child to have a bedroom in each house.
  • However, if that's not practical, it's still important that children have a space they consider to be their own.
  • For younger kids, a toy box that holds favourite items can be enough.
  • Older children should have separate spaces in the home, like a closet to hold their personal items and their own shelf in the family medicine cabinet.
  • If children have their own space, they'll feel like they're part of the family and not just visiting.

2. Involve your child in the process

  • Take your child with you when you pick out things for the new room or space.
  • Divorce can often make children feel powerless, so it's important to let them have some influence on their own space.
  • However, you should refrain from buying too much, or making it seem like you are in competition with the other parent.
  • Now is not the time to buy a gaming system for their room if they don't already have one.

3. Add photographs

• Help your children pick out photographs of their friends and family to hang on the walls of their room.
• For children without their own room, an album full of photographs or a few framed pictures on a nightstand can also work.
• Make sure to let your child know its okay to hang pictures of both parents.
• The goal should be to remind your children that they have people who love them.

4. Duplicate toiletries and other key items

  • Shuttling toiletries and other necessities between homes will emphasize to your children that they're constantly travelling.
  • Instead, keep duplicate toiletries at both homes.
  • Also consider storing backup eyeglasses, contact lenses, gloves, umbrellas, coats and other useful items at both locations.
  • This extra step will help your children avoid stress if they forget to pack for the weather or lose something important between homes.

5. Keep a travel bag for older children

  • Young kids benefit from having duplicate items at both houses.
  • But once your children are able to actively participate in packing and planning their week, having similar items at both homes becomes much less important.
  • Instead, encourage your children to keep a bag they can use to transport some clothing and other important items between homes.
  • Establishing your child's space in both households is an easy way to aid the transition between different homes after divorce.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your kids for their input when creating a space, and make changes that will help your children travel between both homes easily.
  • By taking these simple steps, you can help them feel more secure during this difficult time.
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