One of the main aspects of divorce that affects children is the fact that their parents are now going to live at different addresses and that their current home isn’t their only home any more. For them to fully accept their second home, both parents have to make an effort and make the transition smoother. Here are some ways to introduce your kids to their new second home without making it stressful for them.
Talk to Them
Children are more sensitive than adults and, when something as big as a divorce happens, you can expect them to have a lot of questions. However, it won’t always be easy for them to ask you those questions directly. They might be confused by everything going on, or they might be worried about upsetting you with what they need to know, so it’s possible that they’ll simply stay quiet if you don’t initiate the conversation. In any case, both you and your spouse should find time each day to talk to them, address their emotions and explain all that you can about the divorce and how you expect things to be in the future. This, of course, includes the new living arrangements. When you walk children through each step of the move, and especially if you include them in the decision-making, they’ll find the process less intimidating and consequently less stressful. For instance, if your children are old enough, you could ask for their input about where they’d like to live or at least how they want their room to be furnished. This allows you to bond with them and show them that their parents still adore them as much as they always have. Plus, knowing that they can turn to either of you for any problem or question they have will bring them some relief and reassurance, but it could also diminish their resistance to the imminent change.
Put Them First
Although parents love their children, want what’s best for them and generally put their children’s needs above their own, it’s sometimes extremely difficult to stay level-headed in certain situations, divorce being one of them. This is something you have to be very conscious about, and remember to avoid saying anything bad or to show any resentment or anger aimed at your spouse in front of them. Another crucial matter is that the new home should be adjusted to your children’s needs. This means that they have their own room, that the home itself and the neighborhood it’s in are safe and appealing and that the place has everything your child needs to feel comfortable. These home standards are also something that the courts tend to ask the parties in the divorce to abide to, which may vary from state to state. For instance, courts in Texas usually give parents joint management conservatorship, meaning that both parents have an equal say in the children’s upbringing, which means both homes are of equal significance for child rearing. However, their courts also have certain requirements about the new home, with regards to children’s safety and comfort. That’s why Texans usually don’t stray too far from their previous communities, but instead seek first-rate apartments for rent in Brownsville, that fall into all the safety categories courts might find fundamental. With their children’s best interest in mind, these parents opt for apartments with top amenities, where dogs and cats are allowed, as children feel more pleasant with their pet around.
Adjust the Place to Them
Last, but not least, always bear in mind that this is supposed to be your children’s home and that it should cater to their needs, but also their emotions and character. Let them pick the furniture and any decorations for their room. Perhaps you can even make the place more familiar for them by filling it with some of their favorite belongings. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should take all of those belongings from what they call home right now, as that might upset your children. Instead, make a list of some of their most treasured items and purchase the exact same ones to bring into the new home. Another option is to pack such objects when your children are switching between homes. This could provide your children with some comfort and ease some of their potential anxiety about the new home and the divorce itself. A home should be a joyous place for them, which can only be possible if the place is adapted to their preferences.
Keep It Tidy
A cluttered space can make you edgy, break your focus and decrease your productivity. This is why, if you want to function well in any space, you have to keep it tidy and get rid of any excess objects. As an adult, this is something you deal with daily, but when you have children, it’s vital that you take into account their well-being and put it first. Namely, children are also affected by clutter. It can make it difficult for them to process their thoughts and emotions, but it might also leave them frustrated, if they aren’t able to do their work or play in a manner they are used to. This can also prevent them from dealing with the divorce and having to live between two homes. In addition, when you’re trying to get them to like their new living space, making it cozy and appealing can only help your case. Start with limiting the number of decorative elements, toys and other belongings you fill your new home with. If there are too many things in a space that may not be as big as your previous family home, it can become crowded and messy soon, which your children may find unappealing and they might resist you when you want them to spend their time there. Make it your mission to clean and declutter the new home regularly, so that you create a calming and loving environment they’ll want to live in and that they’ll always gladly come back to, as that’s how a home should feel like for them.
Divorces are emotionally consuming and traumatic for adults, let alone for children. This is something every parent going through a divorce has in mind. It’s no wonder then that your focus is precisely on how to make the inevitable change as easy as possible on your children. Your attitude towards your partner and the cooperation between you is something you need to work hard on, as only that way your children will feel welcome, secure and equally loved in both their homes.