Help your children as they transition between homes. Do not set them up for failure. Better yet, do not set up your ex for failure by playing some sort of mind games.
Children’s capacity for tracking belongings and organizing their homework in a two-home family can be very challenging. It is critical that each parent help their child build processes and strategies across the two homes. Pay attention to the children’s strengths and weaknesses and create age-appropriate routines and rules. But, most importantly, be flexible and expect that items are forgotten. Don’t blame the child and don’t blame your ex – roll with it – focus on doing better next time.
Some rules for transitions:
1. Allow your child to take their belongings between their homes. Do not hoard your children’s possessions. This works best if both parents acknowledge that items need to get returned.
2. The right gear – suitcase – is critical. A backpack might be too small and a trunk might be too big.
3. Kids forget things – don’t blame kids and don’t blame each other.
4. Create age-appropriate routines – remember, transitioning is often not something the child wanted or enjoys. Patience, persistence and and practical routines are critical to this success.
5. Create homework protocols between the parents. Your children’s academic success benefits everyone so focus on it and keep all conflict out of homework. Homework is hard enough without parents’ fighting about homework.
6. Try to come up with some areas for agreement – bedtime routine, homework routine, discipline.