The first week of joint custody can be a big change in your life. It can often cause a lot of stress for you, your ex, and your children. However, no matter how different it feels, you will get used to the new schedule eventually. Children are incredibly resilient and will bounce back quickly as well. Talk to your children ahead of time so that they know what the plan is. Keep their schedules as consistent as possible to their old schedule and between you and your ex’s homes. Keep your cool with your ex and try to put your co-parenting relationship first. And finally, expect issues the first week. This is a big adjustment and takes some getting used to. The more flexible you can be, the better. You’ll adjust and get used to your new normal quickly.
The First Week of Joint Custody: Getting Used to the New Normal
Talk to Your Children
The first week of joint custody might be a big upheaval for your children. Therefore, it’s important to prepare them ahead of time. Talk to them about what their schedule will look like for the week. Especially if they’ll be spending a few nights at a new house with your partner. Listen to their concerns and reassure them. For example, make sure that they know how much you love them. And also reassure them that they will adjust to their new schedule quickly.
Keep Schedules the Same
The first week of joint custody is much easier if you can keep some consistency in your children’s schedule. Children thrive on repetition and schedule. Try to keep their schedule as similar to normal as possible. There will be some times when you’ll need to adjust, but try to keep things as close as possible. Also, try to make sure that you and your ex are keeping consistent schedules across your two homes. For example, similar nap times, wake times, and mealtimes.
Keep Your Cool
It’s important to keep your cool with your ex during the first week of joint custody. You will need to work together with them for the rest of your lives, so now’s a great time to start. Be understanding if they need to make changes to the schedule. Hopefully, in return, they’ll be flexible with you if you need to make changes. Never bad-mouth them on social media or with your friends. And of course, never bad-mouth them in front of your children.
During the first week of joint custody, you should plan to have some mishaps. This is a big adjustment and it likely won’t go perfectly smoothly the first week. The more you prepare for things to go wrong, the less stress it will cause. Try to stay as flexible as possible and anticipate some missteps along the way. You’ll work out the kinks soon enough.
The first week of joint custody is a big change in your life and your children’s lives. It can be a scary time for you and them. So try to remember that the stress you feel over the change will be gone soon. You’ll quickly adjust to your new normal. Likewise, your children will adjust quickly to their new schedules. Try to prepare them ahead of time and listen to their concerns. Keep consistency in their schedules as much as is possible. Play nicely with your ex and remember to put your co-parenting relationship first. And of course, try to stay flexible when the inevitable snags happen during the first week. This is a big adjustment for everybody, so there will likely be a few missteps here and there. But everybody will adjust quickly and you’ll be able to begin your new life post-divorce.