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Add patience and love to a well-constructed parenting plan

A parenting plan will help you work effectively and efficiently through the tasks associated with co-parenting following a divorce.

Love and patience should accompany the parenting plan you develop so that your children have the support they need to enter a new chapter in their lives.

Managing the family breakup

When divorce is on the horizon, helping children to manage the changes that take place is a top priority. A parenting plan is a roadmap for you to follow in making that happen.

Ensuring children understand that both parents love them and will not desert them is extremely important in helping them cope. There will be an ongoing need for reassurance since the children will transition between two different households now and must adjust to the big shakeup in the world they used to know.

Communication between you and the other parent is key. Becoming accustomed to regular communication will also be important once the divorce is final. Even though you and your soon-to-be ex will go your separate ways, raising your children in the best way possible will always be a priority.

Being honest with the children

Trying to explain to children why their parents are not going to live together any longer is difficult. The best course of action is to tell the truth and put it in terms they can understand at their age.

Prepare to manage a variety of reactions; children experience a wide range of emotions when confronted with the reality of divorce, such as sadness, anger, guilt, loneliness and fear of abandonment.

Exploring options

To some extent, your parenting plan will reflect the child custody arrangement you choose: sole custody or joint custody. For example, the children may reside with one parent, but the other parent may take responsibility for making major decisions about schooling, health care and other matters of importance.

Remember that love and patience are important add-ons to the parenting plan you create and will help you and your children adjust to the new reality of life after divorce.

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