Of all the changes that happen in a divorce, one that can be hard for children is having to move into a new home (or two new homes, in some cases). If you are not going to nest (where two parents share the marital home despite divorce) or have one parent retain the marital home, then it’s a possibility that your children will have a significant change to adapt to.
Living in a new home doesn’t have to be scary, and it can even be a positive change, but you need to approach the idea from a place of understanding. It’s normal for children to lash out or say they don’t want to move. It’s okay for them to grieve and be upset about leaving local friends or being farther away from certain people they like seeing. It’s your job to help make that transition easier.
How can you make a move easier on your children after divorce?
One of the best tips for parents going through divorce is to make sure the new home is one that your children can agree on. Whether it’s a new single-family home or a rental property, you can make your child a part of the process of choosing that home. You may have limited options, but even then, it’s always a good idea to allow your children the chance to see the places where they may live and to point out what they do or don’t like about a property.
Children don’t have a lot of choices in divorce, and helping choose a new home might not be one of them, either. If you can’t give them that option, then you can still give them other things to look forward to. For example, you could have them help pick out a new color of paint for their bedrooms, or you could give them an opportunity to choose their spaces in the new home first.
On top of providing your children with control over some part of this process, remember that you can also include some of their comforts in the new home. Some parents buy duplicates of items their children use regularly, while others allow them to travel from each parent’s home with those items when duplicates aren’t available. Keeping a new home familiar in some ways and giving your children choices will go a long way in making them more comfortable and helping them adjust in the future.