Co-parenting is becoming the norm where custody arrangements are concerned post-divorce. There are several advantages to co-parenting, including helping kids feel more secure, and that their parents’ love for them is greater than whatever the issues were that lead to the divorce. However, co-parenting does mean frequent transitions between living spaces, and it is important to handle this appropriately. According to Helpguide.org, it is important to remind children in advance of when they are going to go back to the other parent’s house.
You will want to issue this reminder two or three days prior to the actual switch, if at all possible. It is also helpful to have the child pack in advance (depending on their age) so that there is an additional reminder that a relocation is about to occur. If you are the one that is giving custody to the other parent, a great piece of advice is to always drop off the child if at all possible. This will prevent the “pick up” parent from accidentally interrupting something important between the child and the parent who is passing over custody.
After you have received custody of your child, try to offer some quiet time together to unwind and deal with any potential stress the move may have caused. A great way to help cut down on some level of stress is to have certain “necessities” permanently in place at both households: toothbrushes, hairbrushes, and these sorts of things are easily forgotten when packing and it is much easier to avoid a potential meltdown by always having them on hand.
It is also possible that your child will need some time alone to process after switching houses. Make sure to give them space.