What are some tips to help my children transition during a time-sharing plan?
Divorce is an emotional and difficult transition for all parties involved. This includes the minor children shared by the parties, as they are not immune to such difficult and confusing feelings. Children can find the transition into two separate homes and being separated from one parent at a time particularly difficult. Your Orlando Child Custody Attorney can assist you in creating a parenting plan and discuss certain tactics you might want to implement in your family to assist during this transition period.
One of the most common ways to help children understand the transition is to explain the parenting schedule with them. Studies have shown children with stability and consistency in their family homes turn out to be the most well rounded and successful adults in every aspect of their lives. Therefore, displaying to the children a consistent pattern and routine for their home situation is a great start to an unsettled time. Sitting down as a family, with the children and your former partner, to explain the schedule is ideal, however this isn’t possible for some families. Even if just one partner is involved, it is critical to provide an open dialogue with the children about the new routine in their lives. Some parents have implemented a calendar for the children to use and decorate that displays the time they will be with each parent and the events that surround these times. Having a visual reminder each day provides the children with a different kind of consistency that they can look to. Further, allowing the children to ask questions about the schedule is important. Be open to any and all questions the children may ask and attempt to find a positive in each response. Finally, if you or your partner must make a change to the plan, provide the children with as much notice as possible allowing them time to adjust. Change is very difficult on children and must be treated with as much sensitivity as possible.
Drop offs and pick ups are some of the most emotional aspects of a timesharing plan, however, it is imperative to attempt to make these moments as cohesive as possible. When meeting up with your former partner to drop off children, do not discuss issues. This transition should not be a time to discuss issues with your partner about the children or time sharing schedule. If arguments surround these times, a child will dread the transition. Make the transition time a happy instance for the child to look forward to and aid them in the excitement of seeing their other parent. Although this may be difficult for you, as you are losing time with your child, it is in their best interest to feel no fear or sadness during such a time.
Another common tactic used by parents to aid in the transition into two homes is minimizing the need for packing. Some families are able to have duplicates for the children at each home, eliminating the need for packing bags all together. However, if you and your family find this difficult or there are certain items that are irreplaceable to the child attempt to limit these items to as small of a bag as possible. It is much easier to transition between homes, if the child is confident that the items they need are available wherever they go. Again, having stability and consistency is the goal and the ability to transition between homes smoothly with no thought is a great way to accomplish this.
Transitions are difficult for both parents and children involved. If you are having trouble with the idea of a timesharing plan discuss your concerns with your Orlando Child Custody Attorney and tactics that may aid in this uncertain time.
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