About children’s belongings
Shared parenting-life poses great demands on both children and adults. Children need the help and support of adults to cope with living in two homes after a separation, even when the children get a bit older.
One way to avoid problems and conflicts is to come to an agreement and create routines around the children’s belongings such as clothes and sports equipment. It can also be beneficial to divide the responsibility for each of the children’s activities and arrange for equipment, pay fees etc.
Here is a checklist to help arrange practical things:
- Come to an agreement about what the child needs and what should be kept at each parent’s home. Go through what will happen during the spring, summer, fall/winter. Document this in the app by creating a chat thread called something like “Child’s Stuff”. Show the app to the child and check that the plan is good and that the child wants to be part of it. Help the child install the Varannan Vecka app on their phone so that they can be involved, make decisions, and take on responsibility according to their age.
- What should be taken back and forth between the parents? Use the Packing list in the app: the child, or with the help of the parents can check that everything is included for both to and from each parent on every transition.
- Do you forget the same thing over and over again when you transition? See if there is a possibility to buy a double set of the item so that the child never goes without, for example, football shoes. Prepare in advance and buy second hand to save money.
- When your child is going to their other home (depending on age), help them pack their bag and double check with the app that everything is included. This will help them to create routines and stay on top of things.
- If something goes wrong, keep your patience and help the child solve the situation quickly and smoothly. Help to call the other parent and ask where the item is located, and go and get the items yourself if you are able. Don’t blame the child!
- Don’t scold and never speak badly of the coparent. Regardless of why an item is missing, children feel bad when there is badmouthing and that should be avoided.
- Remember: a child’s belongings are the child’s own – not either of the parents’ even if it is the parents who paid for the clothing or item. Preventing a child from using certain clothes or items because it comes from the other parent is unacceptable in most cases and should be avoided in general.
- Praise the child, your co-parent, and yourself when it works out! Great job!