In Alaska, children are often caught in the middle of a divorce. One issue that can be challenging for them is going from one parent to the other as part of a parenting time exchange. It is important for the parents to understand how a child is affected and take steps to reduce its impact.
Strategies parents can use to ease the child’s transition
Although it is difficult, there are ways for parents to help the child adapt to the new landscape. Scheduling when the child will see and spend time with each parent can give a sense of certainty. Being predictable has been shown to benefit the child.
The child should know what to expect wherever they are. If they have preferred toys, foods they like and clothing they often wear, parents should ensure they have two sets. Constantly packing and going from one place to another makes it seem like they are traveling to another country rather than simply seeing a parent. Children should be encouraged to act like kids and have fun.
Parents need to put differences aside and keep from letting lingering tensions from their divorce involve the child. This can be hard, but if parents are invested in making the situation as smooth as possible for the child, they will work together.
The child’s needs should come to the forefront with parenting time
Being aware and attentive of the child’s needs is imperative to help them get through the difficult time. Parents sometimes forget that and the child is worse off because of it. It might seem like a small issue, but an organized parenting time protocol can be positive for the child and help the parents get along better.