FACT SHEET 8
Changeovers and helping your child move
between their two homes
1. What to expect at a changeover between parents
r Nearly all children find moving between two homes extremely stressful at first.
r Young children are often clingy, cry and put up a fight.
r Older children often complain and say they don't want to go.
r Children will feel more settled once their new arrangements have become their
usual routine. This might take a long time.
2. Understand why your child may be upset about moving between homes
It's hard for your child to leave you behind, because they love you and don't want
to be without you.
r Your child may feel guilty about going away to have a good time with their other
parent because they worry about you being left behind.
r Older children can find a change of home base annoying and difficult to manage,
especially with homework, seeing friends, sports and other activities.
c If there is usually conflict (arguments, criticism) between parents at changeovers,
this can make moving between homes even more upsetting for children.
3. What you can do to help reduce your child's stress
When your child is leaving you. ..
r Gently encourage your child about going with their other parent. Be relaxed and
r Remind your child about the fun things they have done before with their other
parent and about the good things about their relationship.
r Make plans with your child for some fun things you can do together when they get
r Help your child to manage their things they need to take: clothes, special toys,
homework, sports gear.
r Don't say "I'll miss you". Tell your child that you'll be OK and about the good
things you've planned so they don't feel guilty.
r Don't put your child in to an awful position with your ex by asking them to take
difficult messages or to act as a spy.
r Don't break into your child's time with their other parent. It can be too unsettling
When your child is coming to stay with you ...
r Let them