Children learn to adapt to life after divorce differently than their parents. California families coping with separate housing and child sharing need a healthy way to explain the living situation to their children. Younger children might grasp change easier, while older children might have resentments, especially if they have to change schools or lose friends.
Divorce is difficult for children, and coming to terms with multiple homes can be equally challenging. Some children may feel relief from the contention, and others may resent the shuffling between two households. Parents do well to allow their children to express their concerns and provide them with the tools they need to adjust to the changes in their lives.
Reinforcing parental love and child safety
Co-parenting amicably reassures your children that they are loved and not to blame for the new life changes helps them cope better. Setting aside a separate time and space to settle differences keeps children out of earshot and away from stressful discussions. Explaining to children that both parents are and will always be there reinforces their trust. Sharing the benefits and advantages of two homes such as more friends, extra presents and more will help children become more understanding.
Define home for your children
Reinforcing the meaning of home after your divorce increases the chances of your children responding well to a new environment. Letting them see their new surroundings ahead of time and maintaining a calm and peaceful space helps them feel a part of the process. Having your children help decorate their new home space, choose paint colors, and bring their favorite toys creates a welcoming environment they can appreciate.
Both homes should be equal
Children should feel completely at home at either location after divorce. One parent might have primary custody, but the other should try to carve out space for the child. When the children are with either parent, they should always feel at home.