Your parenting plan covers a wide variety of different details, from your parenting schedule to your plans for your child’s schooling. However, every family is unique, and your parenting plan should reflect the unique needs of your family. What details could make your plan more effective?
1. How will you communicate with your ex?
If you and your ex divorced amicably, you may be able to simply call them to discuss your child’s needs. What happens, though, when you have a fight? What happens if you and your ex simply don’t get along? Having a plan in place for communication allows you to explore your options, including new apps, to ensure that you and your ex stay on the same page.
2. How will you make decisions about your child’s appearance?
Can your child crop their hair very short the next time she gets a haircut? Are they allowed to experiment with hair dye? Can they get their ears pierced? Is it all right if just one parent approves, or will both parents need to discuss this issue before you make the final decision? Haircuts and ear piercings may seem like small matters, but they could cause very real parental conflicts in the future. Addressing them in your parenting plan can help prevent those future issues.
3. How will you handle weekend events?
You may have decided on your parenting schedule, but how will you handle a birthday party or school event on the weekend? What happens if you have a family reunion on your ex’s weekend with the kids? These events can interrupt your standard parenting schedule, so it can be helpful to have a plan in place that both you and your ex agree on.
4. How will you handle technology?
As the New York Times notes, parents have to deal with a wide variety of new technology when raising their children. From social media and smartphones to gaming systems, you may need to create a plan so that you and your ex have consistent rules about how often your kids can use these devices. You may also want to lay the groundwork for changing that plan as your children get older and their technology use changes.
By considering a wide variety of details, you can create a parenting plan that reflects your family’s needs and simplifies co-parenting in the future.