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How do you help your child adjust to living in two households?

Divorcing parents may need help to move on with their lives, and their shared children may need help with moving back and forth between two households. Helping kids get comfortable eases their transition and makes co-parents’ lives easier.

Insights from Parents may help divorced parents meet their shared children’s emotional needs. Living in two households need not become a source of conflict.

Add familiar touches

Parents may want to send their kids off to the other household with a familiar item. Making a space feel familiar no matter the house could help kids feel grounded and calm. Even buying a scented candle or fragrance for both homes makes a space feel more comfortable and reassuring.

Let the child make room decoration decisions

If a child must have two separate rooms in two separate households, she or he deserves to have a say in how to decorate those spaces. Choosing bedsheets, decorations and paint colors lets kids feel in control. Even better, parents have fewer decisions to make for their kids.

Do not turn co-parenting into a competition

Parents may try to outshine each other by buying more expensive decorations or gifts for their children. Turning parenting into a competition may do more harm than good if a child feels overwhelmed by change. Rather than outspending each other, co-parents may benefit from focusing on what makes their child most comfortable. Parents could also help their shared kids by supporting their excitement for their rooms at the other parent’s house.

Helping a child navigate change during a divorce may help strengthen the parent-child bond. The right tips make the transition easier for everyone.

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