Denise Baier, LMHC
Apr 24, 2019
Child Time, Parenting Time, Co-Parenting, Two Homes, Parenting Schedules, Flexibility
Divorcing or never married parents who are adjusting to co-parenting are often faced with the question of: “Where is “my” house?” from their children. It seems like a reasonable question from a child doesn’t it?
When Mom and Dad were together, from the eyes of your child, it was always “our house.” Now it’s Mom’s House or Dad’s House. As a parent, avoid calling it your day or your time - you should not claim time with your child as you might claim a pair of shoes. Anger between parents can lead to even worse territorial fights over clothing, shoes, toys, sports gear, and more.
Can you imagine listening to two adults who are expected to guide a child into successful adulthood sounding like two selfish four-year olds fighting over a toy?
Don’t ignore your child's feelings by arguing with your co-parent over these sorts of things. Your child does not choose to have two houses, but your child could eventually adjust to having two homes, missing one of you, and all the other daily reminders that their parents are separated. A never-ending fight over time and stuff may delay their adjustment. Territorial fighting does not convey happiness to your children.
Use easier terms such as “our home” and “your other home.” Don’t argue over time. Don’t worry about who bought that shirt or those shoes. Your children’s things are theirs and should go wherever they go. After all, you want your child to have what is needed when they need it, don’t you?
Bottom line: You should share time with your child. How do you plan to deal with a situation where your child feels pulled between two homes? We would love to hear your input.
Here are some books which may help you and your child learn to adjust to two homes:
Making Divorce Easier On Your Child
Sandcastles Way- Helping Your Kids Cope With Divorce
Mom's House, Dad's House: Making Two Homes For Your Child
I Am Living In Two Homes