You can make split custody easier on your children by being communicative and civil with your ex-partner. A new schedule and lifestyle can be very difficult for children. They thrive on routine, so split custody can be a real shock to the system for them. It’s best if you can communicate early about what their schedule will look like. Keep a routine as much as possible, which means being civil with your ex. Give your children resources and space to ask questions and feel their emotions. And finally, if you and your ex have a relationship where this is possible: carve out some family time. Hopefully, you will come up with a custody situation that works well for your family and your children will adjust quickly and easily.
How to Make Split Custody Easier On Children: Adjusting to the New Normal
Communicate With Them
The first step to making split custody easier on children is to set expectations with them. Communicate exactly what is happening. Let them know what their new schedule will look like, and when they’ll be spending time with each of you. Be very reassuring that they are still loved and that the divorce has nothing to do with them. But it is good to explain the situation in clear terms that they can understand.
Keep a Routine
Children thrive on routine. Knowing what their day will look like helps them stay calm and feel in control. Make split custody easier on children by following a routine with them that you share with your ex. If you can keep their day-to-day as similar to before the divorce as possible, the better. This relies on you and your ex being civil with one another and communicating clearly. Try to keep their school day schedule, nap schedule, feeding schedule, and sleep schedule as similar as possible across your two homes.
Give Them Resources
Another way to help make split custody easier on children is to give them resources. Depending on their age, they may or may not feel comfortable confiding in you as a parent. Some children prefer to speak about their feelings with a counselor or therapist. Give them plenty of space to feel their emotions about your divorce. They may also have tough questions. Try to answer them truthfully in an age-appropriate way. And always avoid speaking negatively about your ex.
Carve Out Family Time
Finally, it can make split custody easier on children if you and your ex can get along long enough to do some family activities. While this doesn’t have to happen all the time, children typically do appreciate having time with their whole family together. If you and your ex can be civil with one another, perhaps you could carve out some family time. Aim for something that is not likely to bring up stress, like a walk in a park together or a movie.
Divorce is difficult for everybody involved, including children. You can make split custody easier on children by making sure to lay out what their new schedule will look like for them. They need time to mentally prepare for change just like adults do. Keep a routine as much as possible across your two homes. Also, try to give them resources to deal with their emotions if they seem like they are having a difficult time adjusting. And finally, if it’s possible with your ex, try to take some time for a family outing now and then. Hopefully, you and your ex can remain civil for the sake of your children. A co-parenting relationship is a tough one to maintain, but it’s important for your children’s well-being that you and your ex be civil to make the divorce easier on them.