When you share joint custody of your children, the kids usually travel between your home and their mother’s. It is important to remember that this kind of transition can be difficult for children. You may need to take a few extra steps to help your kids adjust to the new living arrangements.
You might find that one of the hardest parts of co-parenting is keeping things consistent between houses. Parents magazine says that you may want to have rules that the kids have to follow at both houses. These rules might concern homework or chores. Having rules for both houses may help the kids transition more smoothly and can also show the kids that you and your ex-wife are still a team. Additionally, it may be a good idea to do the drop-off the same way all the time. This consistency can be helpful for both you and your children. Having a set routine on switch days can help the kids adjust. You might find it easier to follow the same pattern because you typically do not have to discuss the fine details every time the kids move between houses.
When you move into a new house, kids usually have a new bedroom they have to get used to. You may want to have some familiar elements in each bedroom. You might pack a bag with special toys and blankets or other items that always stay with a child. It may also be a good idea to have duplicates of some items. If your children are older, you may want to let them decorate their new room. This can help your kids feel like their new bedroom is their special place.
You may find it difficult to pack each time the kids go to the other house. It is a good idea for kids to have books and clothing at each house just in case they forget something. Additionally, you might want to create a packing list. This allows both you and your kids to see what has to get packed so nothing gets left behind. It may also be a good idea to pack the day before the kids go to their mom’s house.