Once you have a temporary or permanent parenting plan, it’s important to talk with your kids about it so they understand not only what the actual schedule is but the intent behind it. If at all possible, it’s a good idea to talk to your children together as parents. This sends an important message that even though you are divorced or separated, you are continuing to parent together. This is also a good idea so that you can give your children one cohesive message. If you talk to them separately there will be differences in what you say as well as your tone.
Emphasize that the parenting plan is a way for them to spend lots of time with both of you. Even if you don’t believe it, tell them it is a fair way for everyone to share time. Explain the schedule, using the visual aid of a calendar for younger children. It can help to color each parent’s days a different color.
Remember that the details matter to your kids. They want to know when and where they are being picked up and dropped off. They want to know where they are sleeping. They want to know how this affects their homework, their chores, their sleeping arrangements, their after school activities, their screen time and more. If you don’t have all the details worked out it’s ok. Tell them what you do know and reassure them that you will figure the rest out as a family as you move forward.
Make time for your children to ask questions and be prepared that the questions will pop up at odd times in the coming weeks and months. Do your best to answer honestly without involving them in the conflict between their parents.
The Sampair Group is ready to represent you in your family law matter in Maricopa County. We are sensitive to all of your concerns and work with you throughout the case. Call us today for an appointment.