Easing the custody transition for children is important because divorce can be quite stressful for them. They might be going back and forth between houses now, or might just be living without one parent. Either way, it’s likely a big change from what they’re used to. It can cause a lot of anxiety in children, so it’s important to make it as easy as you can for them. Prepare them in advance by talking with them about what will happen, and keep the lines of communication open. Keep their schedule as consistent as possible. Communicate with your ex about their needs and make sure that you both are on the same page when it comes to the kids. And finally, reassure your children constantly about how much you love them and how this will feel normal soon. Hopefully, you can make this time in their lives a little less stressful.
Easing the Custody Transition for Children: Smoothing a Stressful Situation
Talk with Them
It’s important to lay the groundwork ahead of time when preparing for the custody transition for children. Let them know what their schedule is going to look like moving forward. In addition, give them a chance to ask questions and raise concerns. If they are older children, or you feel that they might open up more to another person, consider getting them an appointment with a counselor or therapist. Keep the dialog going after you’ve started the transition. Check-in with them to see how they are handling things frequently.
Consistency is Key
Children thrive on consistency and schedules. Especially young children. When easing the custody transition for children, make sure to keep their schedules as similar as possible to what they’re used to. For example, make sure you and your ex are keeping bedtimes, nap times, and mealtime consistent between your houses. Try to keep them in the extra-curricular activities that they’re used to.
Communicate with Your Ex
Another important thing to remember when easing the custody transition for children is to communicate with your ex. It’s important to make sure that you are both on the same page when it comes to things like schedules and discipline. Try to remember that you need to make your children a priority. You and your ex might have some bitter feelings towards one another, but trash-talking can be harmful to children. Try to keep things civil for the sake of your co-parenting relationship.
Finally, one of the most important things to do when easing the custody transition for children is reassuring them frequently. Children often feel blamed when their parents are going through a divorce. It’s important to remind them over and over that the divorce doesn’t have anything to do with them and that you both love them. Try to also reinforce the idea that this is a time of transition and pretty soon their new schedules will seem normal to them.
Easing the custody transition for children is easy if you just remember that children like consistency and like to know what to expect. Don’t try to surprise them with a new schedule. It’s a much better plan to tell them in advance and give them plenty of opportunities to voice their concerns or questions. Check-in with them frequently throughout the process. Be consistent with their schedules and make sure you and your ex can put things aside to communicate effectively about coordinating schedules. And finally, reassure your children frequently and repeatedly that you love them and that the divorce is not their fault. Let them know that pretty soon, everything will feel very normal to them. Hopefully, you can make this time in their lives a little less stressful.