As readers of this blog know, child custody and co-parenting can be tricky. We have written about a creative solution called nesting in the past, but nesting is not always a good option for every ex-couple. For these co-parents, the only other option is to make both Evansville, Indiana, homes feel like home for their children.
Mitigating the shock
When you first talk with your children about the divorce, their first questions will likely revolve around how it will affect them, especially if they are teenagers or tweens. It will relate to their friends’ circle, school, sports, etc. You can mitigate some of this shock by working with your soon-to-be ex-spouse on how to keep them in their same school and neighborhood. This is not always possible, but if the parents work together, you can usually delay a dramatic change in circumstances until at least the next school year.
Making them part of the process upfront
Next, you want them to be part of the home-finding process upfront. You want them to feel like the home that you choose is the home that they chose. In other words, they need to feel like they have equity (or buy in) in the new home, regardless of whether it is an apartment, rental home, etc. You do not want them to feel transient.
Filling the new space
Now that your children feel like they have equity upfront, your goal is to continue this feeling as you make your new Evansville, Indiana, home your own. When you go furniture shopping or try to decorate the home, make sure you bring them and incorporate their ideas. You want the home to reflect them as well.
This does not mean you need to have video game posters on the wall. Instead, it just means they should have some semblance of a say in how their space and home should look. Think outside of their basic needs, even if they are only going to be there for a few days, holidays or over a summer. Remember, you goal is to make your home feel like their home.
Finally, they should have their own space. This could be a private room, a nook, a closet, a bookshelf, corner, etc. Each child should have their own space that they can call their own and that they can decorate themselves with what is important to them. This is the final piece to making them feel at home in the new Evansville, Indiana, home.