Does the tension being to creep up as the weekend approaches for your child to spend with your ex? Does the thought of dealing with him or her make you cringe? No parent wants their child to be in the middle of an ugly situation. Here are some tips to making life in two homes easier on your kids.
- Duplicate The Other Parents House – Keeping a duplicate of essentials at the other parents house will minimize the packing you need to do. Ideally you’ll want to keep at least a toothbrush, underwear, socks, pajamas, or any other necessary items your child needs on a daily basis. Keeping a few sets of clothes at dads is also another way to minimize the loading and unloading, reducing your stress.
- Schedule Specific Drop off and Pick Up Times – Make sure your child is ready at the scheduled time. This way you and your ex won’t have to talk too long minimizing your child’s exposure to any bickering. We all know yelling and fighting in front of the children are a no go. You should also aim to have consistency for pick up and drop off times. Kids crave consistency.
- Keep Adult Conversations Between Adults – There are times when dealing with your ex can seem nearly impossible, but always steer clear of using your child as a messenger. The last place your child needs to be is in the middle of your disagreements. Your child will feel pressured to choose sides, and this will cause resentment towards both of you. Try to limit your communication to the phone, texts or email whenever possible.
- Relax – When you child returns from their other parents house resist the urge to run off in a flurry of activities. Instead, give them time to adjust to being back in your house. If possible, get your errands done while they are away.
- Intrude Lightly on The Other Parent’s Time – Allowing your child to focus on their time with their other parent is important. Let them know you’re always there for them if they need you. A phone call at bedtime is usually enough to show them you care. Your child needs to develop a relationship with each parent individually, so intrude lightly. If you are worried about what’s happening at the other parent’s house, you could provide your child with a cell phone to use in case of emergency or when they’re missing you. Just remind your child the importance of using it for emergency situations.
So remember alternating weekends is more about your child than yourself. Be sure to make the transition as smooth as possible. These ideas will not only aid in helping your child deal with the divorce in a peaceful way, but also stop the weekend woes.