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Creating a calendar to help kids in joint custody

There is no right way or perfect way to parent a child. While we can aspire to do the best of our ability, we can only do so much with the tools we have. For divorcing parents in Florida and elsewhere, parenting can become much more challenging. It is difficult to anticipate how a custody arrangement will actually impact a child, so some parents have to alter the way they parent, even adding more tools to their toolbox.

In a joint custody or co-parenting relationship, it is often best if both parents are on the same page. This means setting a schedule and sticking to it. This means deciding on a parenting plan, when and where drop-offs will occur, when bedtime is and how the child will be disciplined. Going from one house to another on a weekly basis can get complicated for children, especially if they are young. One way to address this concern is by developing a visual calendar.

This calendar, which can be filled in with words or images, can layout for a child what days of the week he or she will be with each parent. If the schedule alternates every other week, it may be a good idea to provide a bi-weekly picture for the child. In this visual, it is also beneficial to indicate when drop-offs and pickups will occur. Transitions can be challenging at times, and it is great to prepare a child for when they will occur.

Creating a visual calendar also provides the opportunity to note special events, signal slight changes or modifications to the regular schedule or give a child a sense of routine and regularity. Divorce can generate many new emotions and concerns for a child. Thus, it is important that parents work together, as best as they can, to create a new normalcy for their child.

While no custody arrangement is perfect, a shared parenting experience can help promote a workable and open relationship with divorced parents. If such a situation is not ideal for you and your ex, one can still develop a strong joint custody relationship, even if communication is limited. Those dealing with this or any other family law issue should understand their options and ways to resolve the problems and protect their parental rights.

Source: Goodhousekeeping.com, "This Special Calendar for Kids of Divorce Makes Co-Parenting SO Much Easier," Sarah Schreiber, August 16, 2017

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