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Tips for helping your children adjust to life after your divorce

Learning that your parents are divorcing is an adverse event in a child's life. Once they hear the news, they will start to think about the future. They want to know how this is going to affect them. For some, the scariest thing to think about is how they are going to transition from one home to the other.

There are several ways that parents can help their children to cope with this significant life change. Trying to make things easier on them at each step is beneficial, but you also have to ensure they know how to handle challenging situations that they can't change.

Make changeover days easy

The day that the child goes from one home to the other might be stressful. It may help if the parent who has them brings them to the other house. This enables them to begin to adjust to the changeover on the way. You should try to have as much stuff at both homes as possible so that they don't have to pack a bag each time they leave. Doing this can make them feel like both houses are, indeed, their homes.

Talk about what they can expect

Some children do better when they know what to expect. Discuss the schedule and what plans they have. If they know that they will go to the other parent's home in a certain number of days, they have time to prepare slowly. Older kids might only need a calendar that outlines who they are with and when. Youngsters may require you to remind them about what's coming.

Create positive memories

Memories don't always have to be formed of elaborate things with the kids. Instead, you can focus on making sure they enjoy the time they do have with you. Plan on splitting up your time between going on fun outings and staying home. Overplanning and having too many activities might cause stress for the children, which can make it more challenging to thrive despite the divorce.

Settle disagreements in private

You and your ex are bound to have conflicts during the course of your parenting relationship. Be sure that you always discuss these without the kids around, and never make the mistake of using the kids as messengers. By keeping these matters private, you are showing them a unified parenting front, which can help them throughout this experience.

It might also behoove you to have specific terms put into your parenting plan. This can help you to avoid having to hash out disagreements later because the answers are likely in the agreement.

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