Parenting Plan considerations for toddlers to teenagers

At Private Mediation, part of helping families move forward following a divorce or separation is creating a parenting plan with arrangements to work together positively into the future.

For a parenting plan to work well, many things must be taken into account, including guidelines that each parent agrees to and one that addresses different stages of the child’s development and their changing needs. Coming up with an effective parenting plan isn’t as easy as sharing expenses and time 50/50.  We share some important factors parents should think about below.

Stable Schedules

Children of all ages need to have stability and a consistent routine with time with each parent.  This does not mean that the time shared must be split equally, but that arrangements are stable, allowing kids to build a routine. As schedules, jobs and other situations change throughout childhood, parents need to be prepared that they will need to have ongoing discussions and sometimes more mediation as circumstances change in regards to schedules.

Transfer Duties

Handing over children between parents can be a particularly problematic and difficult time if there are no guidelines in place as to how best to manage this. These details can include where the transfer will take place, by who, and whether it might be more appropriate to pick children up from a neutral location such as their grandparents house.
In most instances, it is not an appropriate time to raise childcare related concerns and other grievances during transfer, so it’s important that an appropriate time to discuss concerns or differences in opinion relating to child care is detailed in a parenting plan.

Dealing With Emergencies

All parents want to be notified in the case of an emergency. It is important for parents to have a discussion relating to dealing with emergencies including who should be called, when, and what other actions should be taken so both parents are aware of each other’s expectations.

Consistency of Communication

Guidelines about talking negatively about the other parent in front of the child as well as other inappropriate conversations. E.g  talking money which ultimately causes the child to be dealing with adult issues. Certain matters concerning your ex-spouse should not be spoken about in front of the child and this is something for both parents to agree on in their parenting plan.

Consistency of Rules

As children get older, it is important that boundaries are kept consistent between both parents since there is often the temptation for one to be the friend of the child, while the other (often the primary care giver) is left to enforce the rules. It is important to realise that this may have negative impacts on the child if there is a lack of consistency when it comes to rules.  Older children and teenagers need boundaries so it’s important that parents can have consistency regarding their expectations.

With all family mediation, any efforts to address some of the potential issues right now will be helpful later down the track, both for you as parents and more importantly for the child.

Based in Brisbane, Michael Maguire from Private Mediation can assist you with planning the best possible future for your child.

Call us today for more advice on 0419 679 779.