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Child-Centered Parenting Plans

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Child-Centered Parenting Plans

Child-Centered Parenting Plans By Melissa Burns{2:42 minutes to read} When I work with couples who have children, we usually spend a significant amount of time coming up with a parenting plan. The focus of this conversation is not only how parenting is going to be different following a separation, but how it will be the same.

The details of each parenting plan vary, depending on the ages of the children, but they usually include a discussion about:

  • child support;
  • health insurance; and
  • when each parent will spend time with the children, which may or may not include a specific schedule.

Other topics that may be included in this conversation are:

  • extracurricular activities;
  • education;
  • religious or spiritual guidance;
  • how holidays will be shared; and
  • any other topic that is important to the parents.

If the children are elementary school age or younger, the schedule is usually a major part of the parenting plan. Many children need consistency in their schedules to thrive, even if the schedule is new for them.

Older children who are in high school are more likely to set their own schedules, and parenting time may be dictated by activities that these children are involved in, such as sports, dance, or even part-time jobs.

Easy & Hard Discussions

Some of these discussions are easy:

  • We both agree that our children will stay in the public school where they are currently enrolled, and participate in the same activities that they have always enjoyed.
  • We both agree that college is important, and we will both contribute as much as we can to help them pay for their college education.

Other discussions are much more difficult:

  • How do we talk to our children about this?
  • How do we keep our children out of this conflict?
  • Are ground rules about how we talk to the children about each other necessary?
  • When should the children be introduced to a new significant other?

Subsequent blogs will focus on the complexity of some of these issues, and will elaborate on their significance to the parenting plan.

Has your parenting plan been successful?  Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments box below.

Melissa Burns

16 Pearl St., Suite 201
Glens Falls, NY 12801
Phone: (518) 529-5200

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2017-01-30T11:33:44+00:00 By |Children & Divorce, Mediation, Melissa Burns|

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