Children whose parents have separated or divorced will have to learn how to live life between two homes. They’ll likely look forward to spending time with each parent, but there’s a challenge that comes on transition days. Most kids are happy to get to spend time with one parent but sad to leave the other.
One of the most traumatic things that children might have to deal with on transition days is their parents arguing. This can cause them to feel anxious about these times. Because of that possibility, both adults should ensure they don’t discuss anything contentious during custody transition days.
One of the more stressful things for some children is having to remember to bring things back and forth between households. Instead of making them do this, have the basic necessities for the children at each home. This limits what they have to bring back and forth, which can reduce their stress.
Your children should know when the transition days will occur. Older children will probably know their own schedule but younger children may need you to remind them about when they’re going to have to switch houses. Be sure they have time to fully adjust to the transition when they come into your home. It might be best to plan calming activities for the first night they are with you.
Making sure that you have your parenting plan in order helps provide some stability for the child because everyone knows their responsibilities and rights. Most parents try to get this done quickly after their split so the child has a chance to adjust to the new way of life as soon as possible. The parenting plan should be set based on what the children need right now, but it’s possible to modify them later if the child’s needs change.