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How kids adjust to summer living arrangements

For families that have gone through divorce, summer can pose a particular challenge. Many child custody agreements are structured in a manner that gives the non-custodial parent a greater share of a child's summer break. This gives parents in Texas who are not always involved in their child's life on a daily basis a chance to reconnect and catch up on the changes that have taken place during the school year. That transition in living arrangements, however, can be a difficult hurdle for kids to cross.

For kids who are very tactile-oriented, changes in their daily pattern can lead to an increase in physical aggression. These kids may lash out toward their parents, siblings or even friends. Parents of a tactile child should make an effort to engage with them in a physical manner, whether that is through exercise and sports or more time spent cuddling. This gives the child a sense of stability.

Kids who are oriented to auditory stimulation may vocally withdraw during times of stress. Parents should take the time to engage with their kids and listen to any concerns that are expressed. In addition, creating a schedule can help auditory children know what to expect when it comes to custody transfers.

For kids who are visually stimulated, additional stress can lead to anxieties over the differences between households. These children are often comforted by having duplicates of certain items or decorations, so that there is a feeling of continuity between Mom and Dad's house. They may also enjoy carrying special items back and forth between both homes, such as a favorite toy or stuffed animal.

Texas parents can have a significant impact on the ease with which shared children adjust to summer living arrangements. Spending time with one's kids is always important, and even more so after a divorce has taken place. That said, children should be closely monitored to ensure that there are no negative emotional effects, and the tactics mentioned above can be helpful in making summer vacation a happy and healthy time.

Source:, "Child Sense: Divorce and the summer holidays", Priscilla Dunstan, June 15, 2015

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