Divorce causes upheaval for the whole family, not just the adults. Kids are particularly prone to experiencing stress from divorce, and as a parent, you want to do everything in your power to help them cope. Almost inevitably, one parent leaves the marital home and starts a new life—and kids have to travel back and forth between both homes to maintain relationships with both parents.
Whether you’re only beginning the search for a Barrie divorce lawyer or you have already had your divorce granted, your kids may have a long road to rebuilding their lives. You can help them by making their new home a pleasant place where they feel comfortable.
Starting from Scratch
If you’re the parent who moved, most of your kids’ furniture, room décor and belongings probably stayed with your ex. Let your kids participate when you set up their new bedrooms. They’ll feel a sense of ownership in their new home that wouldn’t be possible if you simply picked everything on your own.
Prioritize Your Set-Up
Naturally, you’ll want to set up your own room and belongings right away—but put your desires on the back burner for now. Let your children know that their comfort is your main priority, so you’ll be setting up kids’ rooms first (besides, they’ll be busy jumping on their new beds and coloring on their new walls, leaving you plenty of time for your own stuff later).
Some experts suggest recreating your young child’s old room as closely as possible. Arrange furniture the same way it’s arranged at your ex’s house, arrange toys the same way and use the same bedding, if possible. This provides kids with a sense of much-needed familiarity when everything else is changing.
Older kids may feel better with an entirely different setup. If they’re willing and able, let them choose where to put furniture, hang wall art and otherwise customize their bedrooms.
It’s important to let your child help set up his or her own room, no matter how small (or counterproductive) they are. They’ll quickly realize that even though the surroundings have changed, their relationship with you hasn’t.
What to Expect During the Process
Don’t forget that even if your kids seem to be having fun setting up their new rooms, they may still be under some serious stress. Kids of different ages express their feelings differently, and you may notice that this change causes them to behave in ways they haven’t before.
Younger kids may react to the change with temper tantrums, extreme agitation or excess energy, while older kids might withdraw, slam doors or seem apathetic. These are normal reactions, but stay on the lookout for behavior changes that don’t improve. If your kids’ behavior concerns you, ask your Barrie divorce lawyer if he or she can refer you to a local counsellor or therapist who specializes in working with children of divorce.