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Helping children adjust to life in two homes

Divorce has a tendency to take a serious emotional toll on you, and it may do the same for any children you and your ex-spouse share between you. In addition to your child having to adapt to the two of you no longer living together, he or she will also likely have to learn to adjust to spending his or her time in two entirely separate homes. Though the transition into two residences is rarely easy, you and your ex can do your part to see that it is as seamless as possible, given the circumstances. You may be able to help your child adjust more quickly by taking some of the following steps.

Avoid getting into a competition with your ex

It is natural for the parent who has to move from the family home to want to do his or her part to make your child comfortable and at home in the new space. If you are the one doing the moving, try and refrain from "spoiling" your son or daughter and buying pricy new furniture and electronics for the space. Odds are, your child desires what is comfortable and familiar during this time, so avoid "one-upping" the other parent for the betterment of your child.

Value your child's design input

While you do not need to go overboard, it does make sense to give your child a say in how his or her room at the new home will be outfitted and decorated. If he or she can pick out colors, light fixtures and d├ęcor (within reason) that has particular appeal, it may make your child more likely to want to visit the new home, and may be more likely to do so without complaint.

Minimize packing between visits

You and your ex have the ability to make life easier for your child by simply making sure he or she has enough personal goods and gear at both locations. While he or she will likely have a backpack's worth or so of stuff that needs to travel to and from each home, things like toothbrushes, shampoo and other toiletries and so on ought to be stocked at both homes. This also minimizes the chances of you or your ex having to make repeat trips to each other's residences to bring over forgotten goods.

For more about how to help your child adjust to changes within the family, consider contacting an attorney.

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