Make Joint Custody as Easy as Possible for Your Child

A child raised in two different homes is often the result of joint child custody. The situation can be difficult for all parties but it is important that both you and your ex work to make the divorce and the ongoing transition between homes as comfortable as possible for your child.

joint custodyHere are some points to consider that can help make the changes in your child’s life as easy to deal with as possible:

  • It’s important to keep things as normal as possible after your divorce.
  • Keep meal routines, set rules of behavior, and accepted methods of discipline.
  • Relaxing limits, especially during this time of change, can make your child feel insecure.
  • Don’t drop routines and spoil your child in an effort to help her deal with your divorce.
  • Encourage your child to talk about how he feels about your divorce.
  • Try not to downplay his feelings of loss or sadness.
  • Listen and let your child know you understand his feelings and will help him through this time of change.
  • Don’t add to her stress by expecting her to be your friend or to takes sides in any conflict you might have with your ex-spouse.
  • Don’t say negative things about your ex-spouse.
  • Don’t question your child after he comes back from time with your ex-spouse.
  • Consistency in routine and discipline across both homes are important.
  • Similar ideas about bedtimes, rules, and homework will lower anxiety.
  • If you find you are having trouble keeping this consistency, don’t be afraid to seek outside help from a counselor or clergy.
  • Remain calm in front of your child.
  • Seek help from family, friends, or a professional counselor.
  • Rest when your child rests; take care of yourself; make time for your own relaxation.
  • Maintain warm, safe contacts with your child.
  • Develop and use a network of friends and family.

These are the main points taken from an article by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. You can read the complete article Their House-My House: Raising Your Child in Two Different Homes here. 

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