As parents in Michigan prepare for divorce and do their best to keep their children happy and settled, it can be hard to make the adjustment from one home to two. Whether the child only comes for visitation or spends half their time at one home, there are certain things parents can do to help minimize the discomfort or trauma to the child.

According to Family Education, parents should make a calendar with their children. This should be a dual calendar that allows the child to clearly see where they will be staying and when, what major activities are coming up, and any exciting highlights they can look forward to.

Parents can also help their kids by keeping the environment as stable as possible. This means it is not good for you to rearrange your child’s room or completely redecorate. At times, parents do this to gain the favor of the child over the other parent, but it is not always good for the child. Keep things unchanged for as long as possible.

In fact, it also helps the child if they have a familiar item that they can take to both houses. Younger children may prefer a stuffed animal or blanket, while older children or teens may opt to take an alarm clock or a favorite pillow. Discuss what is important with your child to determine what makes them feel most comfortable.

Finally, parents should allow children to choose as much of their new environment as possible. Let them choose the color scheme, sheets or drapes for their new room. Give them as much choice as possible in a situation where they often feel helpless.

This information is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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