Co-Parenting Tip 4: Transitions

Tip 4: Make transitions and Parenting time easier

The actual move from one household to another, whether it happens every few days or just on weekends, can be a very hard time for children. Every reunion with one parent is also a separation with the other, each “hello” also a “goodbye.” While transitions are unavoidable, there are many things you can do to help make them easier on your children.

When your child leaves

As kids prepare to leave your house for your ex’s, try to stay positive and deliver them on time.

Help children anticipate change. Remind kids they’ll be leaving for the other parent’s house a day or two before the visit.

Pack in advance. Depending on their age, help children pack their bags well before they leave so that they don’t forget anything they’ll miss. Encourage packing familiar reminders like a special stuffed toy or photograph.

Always drop off—never pick up the child. It’s a good idea to avoid "taking" your child from the other parent so that you don’t risk interrupting or curtailing a special moment. Drop off your child at the other parent’s house instead.

transition.jpeg

When your child returns

The beginning of your child’s return to your home can be awkward or even rocky. To help your child adjust:

Keep things low-key. When children first enter your home, try to have some down time together—read a book or do some other quiet activity.

Double up. To make packing simpler and make kids feel more comfortable when they are at the other parent's house, have kids keep certain basics—toothbrush, hairbrush, pajamas—at both houses.

Allow the child space. Children often need a little time to adjust to the transition. If they seem to need some space, do something else nearby. In time, things will get back to normal.Establish a special routine. Play a game or serve the same special meal each time your child returns. Kids thrive on routine—if they know exactly what to expect when they return to you it can help the transition.

If you need help working with your co-parent, contact us. We can help by mediating your differences or represent you if you need to take action.