Monthly Archives: December 2016

Why Co-Parents Should Have a Parenting Plan

The traditional family of 1950’s America is far from the norm in more modern society. While it’s true that just as many parents that divorce stay together, living environments have changed dramatically.

There are families where biological parents live together but never marry. There are same sex couples that marry and adopt a child. And, there are even single mothers that choose to share a home with other single mothers and raise their children together.

No matter what your alternative co-parenting situation is, you should create and maintain a parenting plan.

Three Benefits of Parenting Plans

Discussing co-parenting strategies is great. But, putting a plan down on paper makes it real. Here are some reasons on why you should follow through and make an actual parenting plan.

They Define Expectations

Raising children is difficult. It doesn’t matter if you’re a traditional married husband and wife with one or two children all under the same roof, or a mixed-race divorced couple living in different homes. Every day with a child under your supervision is a new experience.

By creating and sharing a parenting plan with your co-parent, you clearly define expectations for both parents. It’s a way to limit future disagreements and it helps identify potential disagreements before they happen.

They Create Stability

One of the major reasons to choose co-parenting over single parenting is that is helps create stability for all of the children involved. Co-parents can assist one another, while many single parents don’t have that type of support.

Parenting plans help with establishing a routine. Your child will know what to expect each day, and that type of schedule creates a feeling of safety and security.

Stability and security are exactly what you child needs to grow into a confident adult.

They Make Parents Think About What’s Best for the Child

So many parents in co-parenting situations don’t always start off the relationship with their children in mind. If the arrangement to co-parent came at the digression of the court rather than that of the parents, some parents want to make the situation as difficult as possible for their former spouse or lover.

That approach is definitely not in the best interest of the child. By putting a thorough parenting plan in print, it’s much easier to see what is good for your child and what is being done to try and spite their other parent, especially when the latter isn’t something that’s being done overtly.

In Summary

Developing a solid parenting plan that takes the availabilities and strengths of both parents as well as the needs of your child into consideration is an absolute must. It helps bring to light many potential future disagreements before they have a chance to surface and keeps both parents on the same page from the get-go.

If you plan to co-parent, regardless of the situation, make sure you and the other parent take the time to develop a well thought out plan. Your child deserves it.

Traveling with Children


‘Tis the season for carrying my screaming six-year-old through an airport after she gets upset with TSA for telling her she does not have to take off her shoes (suggesting she isn’t a big girl). If you plan on traveling with tiny people during the holidays, in either a plane or a car, I empathize with you. Here are some ideas from around the internet for making that experience as pleasant for everyone as possible.

  1. I rely on Netflix on my phone and headphones for the kiddo, but if you want to have them do something more productive the public library has ebooks that you can check out for a kindle or kindle app on most smartphones.,
  1. If your kids are too young to read, there are also podcasts like Tumble Science, The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, Sesame Street Podcast, or the Thrilling Adventure Hour. Libraries often have books on cd that you can put on your iPod as well.
  1. Putting games like tic-tac-toe or mad libs inside plastic paper protectors and bringing along an erasable marker should keep kids busy for a while. We also bring a printout of a keyboard to have our kiddo practice her piano on the road. Dollar store goodies, given out once an hour, can also keep kids engaged in something new so that they do not get bored.
  1. Have kids keep a travel journal where they write down what they do each day. They can add postcards, recipes, photos, or other mementos from the trip and work on their book on the trip home.
  1. Get them a small camera. Vivitar and Discovery kids both make digital cameras for around $20. They are lighter and better than my kid constantly asking for my phone to take pictures “by herself.”
  2. Trunki makes carry-on bags that little kids can ride on like big wheels. Older kids can pull their own carry-on luggage. My kid has a cats in outer space bag with glitter that lights up. She won’t let me touch it. Airlines will also allow you to check car seats and strollers for free, which if you have a car seat cover, you could use for a little extra packing space.
  3. Consider putting an adult in the back seat with the kids. This helps kids feel included and can diffuse any fussing fits.