Ekker Law, P.C. / Steven B. Ekker, Esq.

Helping Children with Parenting Time Transitions After Divorce

 Posted on November 17, 2020 in Divorce

Kane County family law attorney parenting time

One of the most difficult things for children—and parents—to handle during divorce are the transition periods between time with each parent, especially for young children. Your children are used to having both Mom and Dad in the same home together, sleeping in the same room every night, surrounded by the same toys and belongings. Suddenly, instead of the consistency of a daily routine, their little world is turned upside down and they spend their time being shuffled between two homes, two routines, and two different sets of rules. However, there are steps that parents can take to make that transition easier for everyone.

Prepare Kids for the Transition Between Two Homes

It is vital for children’s adjustment to feel secure and to know exactly what to expect now that they are going to be leaving their house to go spend time at what will also be their home, with the other parent. Discuss the things they may want to bring with them and assure them that you will help them pack those belongings. Explain what days they will be going from one home to another. A suggestion that provides a good visual for young children to follow is to make a color-coded calendar for each home so the kids can see when the transitions will take place and what days they will be at each home.

Also, reassure your children that even during the times they are with their other parent, you are still thinking about them and they will be able to still call you. Working out a schedule with the other parent with times that each of you can check in with the kids – such as before bed or after school – helps with everyone’s adjustment. It is also crucial to respect your co-parent’s time with your children and to not make it a habit of interrupting their time together with too many phone calls or text messages.

Respect and Communication Are Keys

Respecting the other parent’s time with your children is important. Arrive on time when meeting for exchanges and, if for some reason you are going to be delayed, let the other parent know. When you do meet, keep it friendly—even if there are legal or other issues still being worked out. You may also be upset that your children are leaving, but do not let your kids know this. Keep all interaction during the exchange upbeat and friendly and this will let your children know it is acceptable for them to go have a good time with your co-parent.

Take Care of You

Although you may feel sad or angry about “sharing” your child, take advantage of this alone time, and take care of yourself. Find things you enjoy doing and spend your free time doing them. Get together with friends, start a new hobby or any activity that you may have wished in the past you had the time to do. Enjoying your alone time also helps in parenting time transitions since you likely feel refreshed so it brings about a positive experience.




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