Many divorced parents face the challenge of making a smaller home child-friendly after divorce. If you’ve moved from a single-family home in to a condo or apartment, you don’t have the space you used to.
However, you can still make it a welcoming, comfortable place for your child. Whether they’re with you for half of every week or only on the weekends, they should feel like they belong there.
Make the most of their bedroom
Your child should have their own bedroom that’s ready and waiting for them. If your child is old enough, you can let them help you choose the furniture or at least the bedding and wall art so that they can personalize their space. Remember that it needs to be sturdy and functional as well as fun. Buy furniture that will last your child for at least a few years.
Have sufficient storage space
It’s best when kids can have books, toys and games at each home. Even if you don’t have a lot of room for storage, you can create storage spaces under the bed, inside benches and on shelves within easy reach for your child throughout your home.
Don’t forget the child-proofing
Even if your child is past the age of trying to stick toys into electrical outlets, you still may need to do some child-proofing. It can be easy to forget about things like kitchen knives, alcohol and lighters if you live alone most of the time. Rather than making certain rooms off-limits to your child, put these things away or out of reach when they’re there.
Outdoor space is important
You may no longer have a yard where your child can play. However, your patio or balcony can be a good play area, as long as it’s safe. If you can, position your desk or a chair so that you can watch your child outside if you need to get some work done while they play. Meanwhile, explore the neighborhood for parks and playgrounds where you can spend time together.
If you’re trying to gain more parenting time with your child, having a child-friendly home can help. If your ex or the court has expressed concerns about your home, seek the advice of your family law attorney.