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How can you help your children manage life between two homes?

If divorce is on the horizon and the family unit is breaking up, your children will have to adjust to parenting time that takes place between two homes.

This kind of adjustment can be problematic for everyone, but mostly for your children. What can you do to help pre-teen Mike and little Annie cope with the new status quo?

Let them participate

Both children will feel more at ease in the new home if you allow them to have their say about how their bedrooms or other private spaces come together. For example, Mike might want to choose the color for an accent wall in his new bedroom, and he may want to help paint it. Annie might like to go with you to pick out new sheets for her bed—and perhaps a new stuffed animal to place on guard duty there.

Maintain familiarity

A new home will take some getting used to for the children. Make sure there are familiar touches. If Mike has a basketball net at the old house, make sure he has one at the new place. If Annie has favorite books, duplicate them at the new house so she does not have to tote them back and forth. Familiarity also has to do with routine: Kids thrive on routine. Keep the same dinner time in both homes, and the same time to do homework and watch TV. Be sure to allow plenty of time for you to spend time as a family. 

Set up dual calendars

Living between two homes can be confusing at times. Dual calendars will help Mike and Annie keep their schedules straight. You might put days with Dad in one color and days with Mom in another. Add dates and times for extracurricular activities, dentist appointments and the like, and you will simplify life for everyone.

Reach out

When it comes to parenting, no one has all the answers and divorce makes parenting that much harder. Sometimes you may not know how to deal with certain kinds of issues that develop. Keep in mind that you can rely on the guidance of professionals who work with divorce matters on a daily basis and who understand the importance of helping children cope with life between two homes.  

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Bebout, Potere, Cox & Bennion, P.C.
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Rochester, MI 48307

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