The most precious possession that parents have is their relationships with their children. When couples decide to separate, each party typically wants to do all that is possible to maintain that bond.
However, preserving strong connections with both parents is an important factor in protecting a child’s mental and emotional well-being. A thoughtful parenting plan that allows both parents to play a positive role in a child’s life gives youths a better foundation after divorce.
Why a customized parenting plan is critical
Evidence shows that a contentious and poorly managed divorce can lead to academic, psychological and social problems for children. On the other hand, research also finds that children can thrive when parents work together, foster healthy parent-child relationships and protect their kids from conflict.
Each family is unique, and so are the needs of each child. An online template or hastily drafted arrangement is unlikely to satisfy those needs and may create additional struggles. A well-thought-out parenting plan minimizes potential problems.
How parents can start drafting an effective parenting plan
Co-parents can discuss the needs of each child and each adult’s responsibilities to the children as they design a parenting plan. Parents must consider their children’s best interests and the following factors:
- A child’s age and maturity
- Previous routines before separation
- The distance between parent’s residences
- Interactions with third parties and relatives
- Family traditions and customs
Parents may not necessarily create identical arrangements for every child. Also, co-parents will likely benefit from planning to collaborate on updating the parenting plan over time as a child grows and has different emotional needs.
Divorce does not have to harm a child’s relationship with a parent. When ex-spouses create a reasonable parenting plan, young ones can flourish, even during this challenging circumstance.