If you’re the one moving out of the family home in your divorce but you’re sharing custody of the kids, one of your first challenges may be making your new home child-friendly. Even if you don’t have primary custody of the kids, you want them to feel comfortable when they’re in your new place – and you need for them to be safe.
Even if you have a relatively small place compared to your previous home, you can make it a place where your children will enjoy spending time. Let’s look at some ideas that will help.
If any of your children are still very young, childproofing should be your first concern. Kids love to explore new spaces, so they may do something dangerous you thought they’d outgrown. You may need to be especially careful about keeping your doors secured. If you’re in a condo or apartment, it may be easy for your child to run outside and get into mischief or danger. The same with patio doors that lead out to a balcony.
When you’re furniture shopping, it’s probably best not to choose things that are fragile or too expensive. The same goes for bedding and décor. The less you have to worry about the kids spilling juice on your new sofa or drawing on your dining room table, the more enjoyable your time with them will be.
Plenty of playing and reading space
Unless you want your kids to stay in their rooms during their time with you, set up a play area somewhere else in your home for them and maybe a dedicated reading/homework space. Keep your lower bookcase shelves free for your kids’ favorite books.
Hardwood floors are common these days, especially in condos. However, if your kids are going to be playing or reading on the floors, it’s best to have some soft, washable rugs.
Ask for your kids’ input as you set up your new home. This will help them feel like it’s theirs as well. If you don’t currently have as much parenting time with your children as you’d like, making your home safe and child-friendly, with the privacy all kids need as they get older can help you make the case for more custody rights.