How to Help Your Child Transition into a 2-Home Scenario After Divorce

October 23, 2018

Going through a divorce can be a tumultuous time for any adult, and for children it can feel like their world is falling apart. It can be confusing for children to have two homes, particularly in the early stages of divorce. But there are ways to bring positivity and excitement to this change, while reducing […]

How to Help Your Child Transition into a 2-Home Scenario After Divorce

October 23, 2018

Going through a divorce can be a tumultuous time for any adult, and for children it can feel like their world is falling apart. It can be confusing for children to have two homes, particularly in the early stages of divorce. But there are ways to bring positivity and excitement to this change, while reducing your child’s stress significantly.

Provide Stability

Help your child adjust to the changes in your family by providing as much stability as possible. Having established routines and continuity between their two homes will help your son or daughter feel safe and secure. You don’t need to have a strict schedule, just routines that your child can expect when they wake up, before they go to bed and when they come home. For example, there’s always a bath or a story before bedtime, and a healthy snack when they get home. Resist the temptation to overcompensate by lavishing your child with gifts, or letting them get away with things they normally would not. Structure in your home will help your children feel calm and stable.

Ease The Transition

Help ease the transition for your children by having a neutral pickup and drop off spot, such as your child’s school. You can drop your son or daughter off at school in the morning, and your ex can pick them at the end of the school day. This also eliminates stress for the child and sad goodbyes. Children are very perceptive and will be keenly aware of any sadness, anger, or frustration you may be feeling if you drop them off at your ex’s new place.

Give Kids Choices

Allowing your child to have a say will help them feel empowered, lessening any feelings they may have about things being out of their control. Have them pick out a new bedspread or pillows to decorate their space, or ask them to decide on a special dinner over the weekend. You can make them their favorite meal, try something new, or they can choose a restaurant they’d like to go to.

Reduce Stress on Arrivals

You can help your child adjust to the changes between two homes by making their arrival from your ex’s house as positive and structured as possible. Come up with a special but simple routine for when they come home. Something pleasant and comforting, such as sharing a snack or playing a game. Resist the temptation to bombard them with questions; let them unwind and process the change in their own time.

 

Your child has two parents living in two separate homes, but they only have one childhood. By remaining a positive force in your child’s life and maintaining stability, you can help them transition into their new normal.

Are you struggling with divorce, and need the support and guidance of a licensed professional? I can help. Please give my office a call today, and let’s schedule a time to talk.


Harini Sukumaran is a Qualified Mental Health Professional and certified Ayurvedic Practitioner who is passionate about helping children to become less stressed by giving them and their parents tools, support and encouragement. Her passion also includes helping Women suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety and Pregnancy/Postpartum mood disorders. She received her Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology and Master’s in Marriage, Couple’s and Family Counseling with special concentration in Children (Play Therapy), Women and Families.

How to Have a Healthier Family Through Better Co-Parenting

February 6, 2018

Moving forward after divorce is difficult for everyone, and trying to figure out how to co-parent complicates things even further. Here are some tips to help you co-parent with your ex. Put Your Child First Putting your child first is an absolute necessity for successful co-parenting. Always consider their wants and needs above your own. […]

How to Have a Healthier Family Through Better Co-Parenting

February 6, 2018

Moving forward after divorce is difficult for everyone, and trying to figure out how to co-parent complicates things even further. Here are some tips to help you co-parent with your ex.

Put Your Child First

Putting your child first is an absolute necessity for successful co-parenting. Always consider their wants and needs above your own.

Putting your child first doesn’t mean that you stop taking care of yourself. Your child also deserves a parent that’s happy and healthy. Self-care is vital, so be sure to rest, eat healthy, exercise and make time in your busy schedule to do something special for yourself. This way, you give your child her parent at their very best.

The Golden Rule

The best co-parenting relationships have the best communication. To practice the golden rule, share the information you would like, and expect, to have shared with you. Neglecting to share information could risk unintended negative consequences for your child.

For example, if you get your child immunized for school and don’t tell your ex, your ex might also get your child immunized for school. This could have unintended consequences for your child.

If you’re having difficulty communicating with your ex in person or by phone, try text or e-mail.

Be Consistent

Children need structure to feel safe, secure and loved. Therefore, it’s important that you and your ex create a united front for the sake of your child and try to keep schedules as similar as possible. Resist the urge to give in to demands out of guilt: it’s familiarity and routine that will make your child feel loved and cared for.

Accept Differences

Even with the best of intentions, things will not be as perfect as we would like. If your ex lets your kids eat sweets or stay up late, you must learn to accept the different ways your homes are run. If you let go of control you’ll put less anxiety on your children, and relieve yourself of the stress of trying to control something you can’t.

Respect Each Other

Regardless of what happened in your personal relationship with your ex, your ex is still your child’s parent. To that end, you must respect your ex for the sake of your child. Don’t speak ill of your ex in front of your child, and don’t talk to your children about issues or difficulties with your ex.

Although your relationship with your ex didn’t work out, your relationship as co-parents of your child is forever. Let your child feel the love from both of her parents without feeling like she has to choose. A stable home and positive role models will help ensure your child grows up to be a happy, productive adult.

If you need help developing better and more positive communication with your ex, give me a call today and let’s set up an appointment to talk.


Harini Sukumaran is a Qualified Mental Health Professional and certified Ayurvedic Physician who is passionate about helping children to become less stressed by giving them and their parents tools, support and encouragement. Her passion also includes helping Women suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety and Pregnancy/Postpartum mood disorders. She received her Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology and Master’s in Marriage, Couple’s and Family Counseling with special concentration in Children (Play Therapy), Women and Families

5 Amazing Outcomes that Can Come from Family Therapy

July 15, 2017

Many people wish they could belong to a family that resembles the Brady Bunch. But the truth is, most of us belong to families that are not nearly as perfect or copacetic. Families are as complicated as the individuals who make them up. Though each family is entirely unique, all can benefit from family therapy. […]

5 Amazing Outcomes that Can Come from Family Therapy

July 15, 2017

Many people wish they could belong to a family that resembles the Brady Bunch. But the truth is, most of us belong to families that are not nearly as perfect or copacetic.

Families are as complicated as the individuals who make them up. Though each family is entirely unique, all can benefit from family therapy. Counseling can help family members improve communication and resolve conflicts.

Here are 5 amazing outcomes that can come from family therapy.

1. Surviving Those Teenage Years

It has been said that parents face the most challenges during the toddler and teenage years. That’s probably because teenagers often act like toddlers. While teenage angst is common and normal, many teenagers struggle with anxiety, huge mood swings, and other mental health issues. Family therapy helps parents and children not feel alone and assists them in communicating feelings and expectations.

With this in mind, it’s a great idea to connect with a good therapist during the pre-teen years so a relationship can be built and nurtured. That way as difficult situations arise in later years, you have someone you know and trust who can help you.

2. Gain Important Skills and Tools

It would be so much easier to be a parent if the job came with some kind of training manual. Since it doesn’t, many parents, who perhaps didn’t have the best examples given to them by their own parents, struggle to raise their children the right way.

Parenting can be much less daunting and more fun when you have the right skills and tools at your disposal. For instance, learning positive ways to communicate with your child, constructive ways to discipline, and how to avoid power struggles.

While it can be helpful to speak with supportive friends and look for advice within the pages of books and magazines, there is something uniquely beneficial to family therapy.

3. All Families Can Benefit

Many people assume they have to be in a full-blown crisis before they should seek counseling, but this is simply not true. All families can benefit from family therapy. This is because in therapy, everyone gets a chance to be heard. And any problems, whether big or small, can be dealt with in a productive way.

Family therapy offers tremendous benefits, including:

  1. Better understanding of healthy boundaries, family patterns and dynamics
  2. Enhanced communication
  3. Improved problem solving
  4. Deeper empathy
  5. Reduced conflict and better anger management skills

4. Cultivate Self-Worth


Very often it is our own lack of self-worth that causes us to treat the people we love badly. Family counseling cultivates self-worth for all members of the family and, as a result, intimacy and compassion are cultivated as well.

5. You Learn How to Deal with Anger

Very few people know how to deal with their anger and temper, and as a result, we lash out at our family members and sometimes say things we can never take back. Therapy allows for calm and guided discussion where feelings of anger can be explored in healthy ways.

A family that is in constant conflict is unhealthy and needs help. If you are aware of a potential problem in your family, or are simply looking for a way to communicate and connect, family therapy may be an excellent option to consider.

If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.


Harini Sukumaran is a Qualified Mental Health Professional and certified Ayurvedic Physician who is passionate about helping children to become less stressed by giving them and their parents tools, support and encouragement. Her passion also includes helping Women suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety and Pregnancy/Postpartum mood disorders. She received her Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology and Master’s in Marriage, Couple’s and Family Counseling with special concentration in Children (Play Therapy), Women and Families.