Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
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Helping Your Children Move Between Two Homes

When you divorce with children, you are going to have to transition them between two homes. For a minor child of any age, this can be not only traumatic when it starts but also feel like a constant state of flux. It is critical that you children know they are loved by both parents, have space in your home, and are made to feel comfortable. How can you make this as easy as possible for them? Make sure you have duplicate supplies, take some responsibility, and be reasonable when they forget important items from one home.

Have duplicate supplies
Cosmetics for teenage girls, graphing calculators, clothing, or soccer balls - making sure each house has favorite and necessary items can be important. While this may seem redundant, having certain items in each home will ease the burden of packing on the child and anxiety that they might forget something important. While this can cost you a few extra dollars the comfort it provides to your child can be invaluable. If your child wears a uniform to school, make sure you each a set at your home including any shoes. You may even want to ask if you can get two uniforms if your child is in sports.

Put the burden on the parents
While living in two homes is common these days, it is not your child's fault they have to move back and forth so make sure that you do the heavy lifting for them. Help them pack, maybe develop a list for them to use, and offer to pack the car with them. If they are switching homes after school coordinate with the other parent to ensure you can drop-off or pick-up their belongings.

Be reasonable when they forget necessary items.
When your child leaves a textbook or snow boots at the other parent's house remain calm. While children of divorced parents tend to be more organized due to the moving around they are still young and will forget every once in awhile. They also need to feel that you will help them have the items that they need for their day. If you have a problem with textbooks contact the teachers - they are usually happy to provide extra copies.

Having to move belongings on a regular basis can be troublesome for some kids. While you and your ex may both provide loving environments, remember it is not your child's fault they have to travel between two homes. Going out of your way to make them feel comfortable and helping also negotiate packing will help. Children crave a stable environment and parents should do what they can to provide that for them.

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