Adjusting to life after a divorce may take time, particularly for your children. Rather than living at home with both parents, your child may now spend time at your home and at the home of his or her other parent. Until and unless you all settle in, the hand-off and transition from one home to the other may cause uncertainty, frustration and anxiety.
Using the following tips may help you to make the hand-off process as smooth as possible for your child, you and your child’s other parent.
Do offer reassurances
According to The Office of the Attorney General of Texas, particularly when just starting a shared parenting arrangement, your child may need extra reassurance. You may help ease the transition by encouraging your child that he or she should spend time with each parent and that you support the continued relationship between he or she and your former spouse or partner.
Do not send messages through your child
It may seem easier when you need to convey information to your child’s other parent to ask your child to tell him or her. However, in doing so, you may make your child feel stuck in the middle. To avoid adding this undue pressure to your child during an already difficult time, refrain from asking him or her to pass messages, notes, bills or other such items to your ex-spouse or former partner.
Do stay consistent
Your child may need consistency more than ever after a divorce or separation. This may include maintaining the same rules for your child at both houses and establishing rules that you and your child’s other parent will stick to.
Do not press your child for information
While you may wonder about what your former spouse or partner does now or the time your child spends with his or her other parent, asking your child may put him or her in an uncomfortable position. Pressing your child for information may make him or her feel the need to choose a side and lessen his or her enjoyment of these visits.
Shared parenting may provide a positive post-marriage upbringing for your child, but only if you and your former spouse or partner do your part to help your child navigate this difficult life change.