In my legal practice and personal experience, children residing in two households when parents are divorced/separated can experience certain difficulties.
To support and understand them better, it is helpful to understand their complaints and entertain solutions.
The 10 universal complaints by children
1. The number-one complaint is the packing and moving of their stuff between the households. It can also be exhausting for some, especially if the parenting plan has too many swapping per week or if distances are too far to travel.
2. Forgetting an item during the visit to the previous house, especially a school or clothing item.
3. Missing out on friends and school activities if the parents stay in different towns.
4. The disruption of routine and having two bedrooms.
5. Missing a sibling if they are not primarily staying in the same house.
6. Missing pets in the other house.
7. Difficulty studying in two different houses.
8. Although there are a lot of divorced families, the children sometimes experience the embarrassment of having two households.
9. The fear of interrogation of what happened at the house of the other parent, and causing trouble.
10. If special holidays like Christmas, Easter etc. are not allocated peacefully between the parents, the stress they experience to be at the right household on the day without displeasing a parent.
Solutions to make it easier
Make a fixed packing list of things that the child can use each time they need to pack. Let each house have a set/s of the most things, making the packing and forgetting less. Don’t ask about the other parent or other sensitive questions on average upon their return. Divorced parents can annually, and in advance, plan the parenting plan – contact times and holidays. It gives comfort and certainty to all. Keep the contact-swopping between the two houses to minimum intervals to avoid too much swopping, unless the children are of a young age.
Rise and radiate!
Once you rise and radiate, you can radiate the love and goodness of God to others!
Coach Mimi Karstel
Mimi is a practising litigation attorney who is also qualified as a pastoral therapist, life coach (UK) and a family and divorce mediator.