Parenting Plan

Tips for Parents Creating a Parenting Plan Together

Raising a child is hard work, especially when parents are no longer together. The situation isn’t easy on the kids, either. Having co-parents after a divorce or separation means navigating two homes and two sets of rules. Simply having a sense of consistency is hard on everyone.

Don’t let these difficulties discourage you. It is possible to co-parent without risking everyone’s emotional wellbeing.

You and your spouse can work together, creating a parenting plan that fits your circumstances. A good plan helps both parents remain active in their children’s lives.

Here are some helpful hints for crafting an amicable co-parenting plan that promotes a happy, healthy environment for children.

Prioritize Communication and Respect

We cannot stress the following tip enough: You should always put your children first when co-parenting.

Communication is crucial to making sure the kids are thriving. It is the glue that holds everything together. Parents should always prioritize open, honest communication. Good communication includes being respectful, even when you disagree.

We know that working with your ex is not always easy. There is a reason the marriage ended, and that dissolution often breeds negative feelings.

However, it’s vital to put your differences aside and listen to each other's perspectives. Remember, your children's wellbeing is the most important thing. A successful co-parenting relationship can lead to happier, healthier children, and that should be reason enough to work with their co-parent, avoiding unnecessary strife.

Set Up a Shared Calendar

Many co-parents find that creating a shared calendar is a game-changer. Many services such as Outlook, Google, and Yahoo! allow multiple users to add and delete events from schedules.

When both parents have access to the same calendar, it reduces the chance of miscommunication and misunderstanding. Everyone can stay on the same page and clearly understand what's happening in the family's schedule.

Your calendar can include anything from school events and extracurricular activities to doctor appointments and visitation schedules.

Online calendars are great tools that help parents stay organized, maintain consistency, and ensure that everyone's needs are met. By working together and establishing a solid plan, both parents can contribute to a better life for their children.

Discuss Holidays and Other Big Transitions

No matter the time of year, holidays are a big deal, and they always sneak up faster than expected. New parted families can experience stress and difficult emotions during the holidays, but having a plan in place will help ease the transition.

Discuss how you will split holidays in advance. Make sure to outline specific dates, times, and locations, and keep the children’s needs in mind. Try to prioritize their accustomed traditions and routines as much as possible.

As with all co-parenting decisions, remain open to compromise and stay communicative. Parents who work together can create a working holiday schedule that benefits everyone. Remember, the goal is to make the kids’ transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Agree on Appropriate Discipline Strategies

All too often, kids have co-parents who aren’t on the same page regarding discipline. They quickly learn which parent will let them “get away with” a certain behavior. When children are small or immature, they confuse this lack of discipline for love, and they start to favor the more permissive parent. Moreover, inconsistent discipline leads to a lack of structure, which is never good for kids.

Discipline is an integral part of parenting. Co-parents must work together to keep their kids on track. It’s important to create a parenting plan that includes discipline strategies. Both parents must stay consistent with this agreement, or the whole system could fall apart.

Parents can provide a stable and consistent approach to raising their children, leading to healthier, happier relationships.

Stay Connected, Even During Busy Times

Parents who are apart find it hard to share children and maintain busy schedules. Creating a successful parenting plan means keeping communication lines open and staying in touch during hectic times. Fortunately, there are many different ways co-parents can stay connected.

Technology can be a huge help, allowing parents to send each other updates via text or email, share a calendar, or even have virtual meetups. Some co-parents find it helpful to share photos, videos, and updates about their children's activities and achievements.

Whatever approach you choose, staying connected is key to maintaining a strong parenting plan.

Discuss Financial Responsibilities

A good parenting plan includes expenses related to raising children, such as education, health care, extracurricular activities, and everyday needs. Child support agreements can cover many of these areas, but parents can be more specific with their plan, too.

Parenting plans should be about more than just who takes the kids and when. They can also alleviate financial stress and provide the best possible support for the children.

Attend Mediation

Mediation can be a major help when crafting your parenting plan. This process offers a neutral, safe environment for spouses. They can discuss their concerns and work toward the best agreement for the kids.

A mediator can also offer valuable guidance and help you discover creative solutions. Simply having a third person involved may lead you to answers you would not have considered yourself.

By attending mediation, you can avoid a lengthy, expensive court battle. Instead, you and your spouse can focus on creating a plan that benefits all stakeholders.

Divorce doesn’t have to be a battle. Law Office of Tzvi Y. Hagler, P.C. is here to help parents work together and make a plan that helps keep kids happy and healthy. To meet with our team, call our office at (516) 514-3868 or schedule time with us online.