Children of divorced parents have to learn how to live between two homes. For some children, the day when they move from one home to the other is difficult. Reducing their stress during this time can make the situation easier for everyone involved.
One of the primary reasons transition days are hard on children is because they may worry about having their parents fight when they see each other. They may also feel conflicted because they’re happy to see one parent and sad to leave the other.
1. Drop off instead of picking up
The parent who currently has the child should bring them to the other parent. This gives the child time on the drive to prepare for the transition between homes. Some children may feel anxious if they have to wait on a parent to come to pick them up.
2. Limit packing
Try to limit what the child has to pack. Ideally, they’ll only need to worry about bringing what they want. If both parents have some basics, such as toiletries and clothing for the kids, the children don’t have to think about packing those items.
3. Never discuss contentious issues
Transition days shouldn’t be stressful, so never talk about anything that might cause a disagreement. Those contentious issues should be handled in private away from the children.
Making sure you have a parenting time schedule set enables you to help the children understand when they will be with each parent. This should be based on what they need now. In the future, you can modify the parenting plan if those needs change.