Have you ever heard someone say that humans are creatures of habit? It’s true. We like habits and patterns and routines. We like things to be predictable.
This is especially true for children. They’re still figuring out how the world works. The routine not only gives life structure, but it also makes them feel comfortable and on familiar ground. They know what to expect. Things aren’t chaotic. They feel safe within those routines.
Now think how they feel when something outside of their control impacts their stability. When parents divorce, a child can feel like it has upended their entire life. It’s unsettling.
That’s when routines can help. Children who go to school already have some routines that parents should try to preserve. Those who play after-school sports like football, basketball or hockey have even more routines. These give them a sense of structure that their home life may temporarily lack.
When setting up a custody plan as a parent, it’s easy to focus on your own routines and expect your children to change. However, if you’re really putting them first, you want to preserve their routines and change your schedule to match. This can make everything go more smoothly, and it can help them adjust to this new family life with multiple homes and parents who are no longer together.
As with all things in divorce, it’s essential to work to put the kids first. Always ask yourself how your decisions impact them. Then take the time to consider all of the legal options you have to make the schedule that allows them to feel as safe, comfortable and secure as you can.