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5 Tips to Manage a Split Home

Divorce is a challenging, difficult time for everyone involved. It can be exceptionally difficult when young children are part of the process. The splitting of one family and the blending with another can be particularly confusing and emotional for young children. Luckily, there is lots of research that can guide you through this process. Here are a few tips for keeping things as normal as possible throughout the split:

Don’t Compete

This is easier said than done. As your child splits time between homes, there will be times when they rant and rave about all the fun activities they did with your ex. It can be tempting to compete, trying to win the affection of your children. However, this can be damaging and should be avoided. Instead, be supportive and engage in a positive conversation with your child about their experience at the other home. By focusing on the welfare and happiness of your child, you’ll be able to limit any competitiveness that might spring up.

Keep Things Familiar

You’ll want to incorporate familiar objects from your previous home, from before the divorce, to your home now. For example, if your child has a particular quilt or comforter they love, but that your former spouse has at their home for the child, try to purchase a similar one for your new home. This simple gesture creates a sense of normalcy and unity for your child, which will make the switching of homes less dramatic.

Maintain Communication

As difficult as this might be, you and your ex need to keep communication open and honest throughout the split and after. Your child will experience extreme anxiety and confusion if you and your ex are not on the same page with things like bedtime, eating habits, or social outings. Providing consistency is one of the best ways to manage a split home.

Have Crucial Conversations

Understandably, children often experience guilt in these situations. As a parent, it’s extremely important to remind the child that the split is not their fault. Continue to remind them that they are part of a family and are very loved. These conversations may be difficult, but they are vitally important for your children.

Take Time To Review

Create the most positive environment possible for your child, and check in with your child to make sure they feel that positivity. If your child doesn’t feel comfortable in your home for whatever reason, you need to know that. Regular review how things are going in the home and with switching your child. Give them the opportunity to provide feedback. When they do, carefully consider what they’ve said and apply what you learn.

Divorce is never fun, but there are ways to minimize the disruption it will have in your child’s life. If you follow these simple steps you’ll feel more comfortable with the transition and will provide your child the support they need survive the split.

Tim Esterdahl

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