If your child lives with you less than full time, there may be a greater risk of the child not feeling like it is his or her home. If you are a father and have joint custody or visitation, here are some ideas to make your child feel at home.
Set aside a space just for the child
Often, financial considerations do not make it easy for parents to have, for example, an entire bedroom for one child. However, if you can set aside half of a bedroom, even just one bed, that goes a long way toward making the child feel invested in the home.
The space does not need to be inside; a treehouse or a swing set outside just for the child can do wonders, so can a bookshelf reserved solely for the child’s books and toys. It also helps a lot for the child to have his or her own toothbrush, hairbrush, clothes and the like at your home.
Encourage the child to decorate and participate in activities
A child can feel that your full-time home is his or hers, too, by participating in activities such as cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. It is good to expect children to contribute to the upkeep of a residence, so setting up a chore list can foster the feeling that he or she is at home.
Similarly, involve the child in activities such as painting the walls and shopping for furniture. Giving him or her a voice in family decisions should build the pride the child feels in the living space.
A child may not feel like your home is also his or hers if you are gone a lot. Be present as much as possible, and create new memories with your child.
Many couples going through divorce have children. If you are having some issues deciding how to co-parent, an attorney may be able to help.