As a psychologist this is a question that I find interesting because although it is important, it is not something that gets talked about much.
When the divorce is at the point where one parent is going to be moving out of the home, it is very important that it be planned out.
So how does divorce affect children during the move?
Every child reacts differently to the different stages of the divorce process. When it comes to the move here are a few tips.
- Firstly, the children should absolutely not help with the move.
- Secondly, let them know that some things will be moving around.
- Thirdly, relocate those things to a discrete location.
- Lastly, choose times when the kids won’t be around.
The children should absolutely not help with the move.
Kids should not participate, be involved, or be expected to help the other parent move their belongings, clothes, or anything else out of the home. By helping with the move children can feel as though they helped in the procedure of the parents divorcing and actually the parents leaving.
It is very important that the children not share any kind of responsibility or experience that they were involved in this.
Let them know that some things will be moving around.
As you are preparing to box things up by moving things around, un-cluttering and separating things, let them know that some things are going to be moved around.
Relocate those things to a discrete location.
Don’t make it really noticeable and keep those boxes discrete like in the corner of the garage, not in the middle of the living room.
Choose times when the kids won’t be around.
One of the things that you can do to make it less difficult for your child is to do it when they are not home. It might seem logical that making a move or having a moving van or helpers come would be done on a weekend but unfortunately that is usually when your kids are home, hanging out, or coming and going frequently.
To help children, you actually want to move during the week, preferably during the day, when they are involved in other activities or in school. The physical move is already a difficult process for everybody, this just eases it.
So in answering the question: How does divorce affect children during the move? Remember, when you are moving out take some time, look at the schedules, do some planning, and it will minimize some of the distress.
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Dr. SueAnne Magyar-Hill
Support System Inc.
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