After the dust settles on a divorce, there are two households to run and parenting time to arrange. While it is common for one parent to have sole custody and do the lion’s share of child-rearing, every fit parent deserves to have a relationship with his or her child. Unfortunately, after a divorce it can be difficult for children to transition from home to home for split parenting time. Luckily, though, there are some tips that every parent can use to cut down on the dreaded “transfer trauma” that leaves kids distressed and parents just plain stressed.
Easing the Transition
It is important for divorced parents to maintain as civil a relationship as possible for the sake of their children – especially if the children are younger. Toddlers are in particular very perceptive to tension and anger. They are surprisingly astute at picking up on subtle signs like changes in tone of voice and facial expressions, and they can easily be upset by any sense of unrest between their parents, even if they may not understand the words spoken in an argument. Cooperative parenting is better for everyone involved, as is resisting the ability to hold grudges against your former spouse, both in the short and long terms.
It is also important for the parents of younger children to establish routines leading up to and including the parenting time exchange itself. Structure is vital for young kids, as it gives them the comforting stability they need. Having both parents enforce the same meal, nap and play times can go a long way toward boosting relationships while encouraging the children’s healthy emotional development of the children.
If you are involved in a divorce or anticipate an upcoming child custody or placement dispute, it is important that you seek the advice of a skilled family law attorney in your area to learn more about how to protect your legal rights while keeping your children’s best interests at heart