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Why your kids need to see your parenting calendar

One of the most difficult aspects of parental divorce for many kids is the upheaval and uncertainty it can bring to their daily lives. They may be uncertain about which evenings or weekends they'll be spending with their noncustodial parent. They may not know who's going to pick them up after school, show up for their soccer games or take them to the orthodontist.

This uncertainty can be exacerbated by the beginning of a new school year. They may have different activities and even a different school than they had last year. Younger kids, in particular, can suffer from anxiety if they aren't sure who will be there for them and when they will be with each parent.

If you and your spouse have a parenting plan and schedule in place and you're sticking to it, that's great. However, it's important to make sure that your kids know what that schedule is.

There are shared parenting apps that include calendars so that both parents can see at a glance where the kids will be on any particular day and who's responsible for dropping them off and picking them up from visits, school or events. Making those calendars available to your kids in a form they can easily understand can go a long way toward easing their uncertainty.

You can print weekly or monthly calendars out, depending on which your kids prefer, and post them on the refrigerator or let your kids keep them in their rooms. It's a good idea if these calendars are displayed in both of their parents' homes so that kids can see that their parents are on the same page -- at least as far as caring for them is concerned.

If you have younger kids, you may want to get them involved in decorating the calendars to make them their own. Each child may want to decorate his or her calendar differently. If they are old enough to have a phone or other electronic device, you may want to let them access the calendar that way.

Whether you're developing your parenting plan or amending the one you have as your children's needs change, it's essential that your kids don't feel left in the dark. Your Massachusetts family law attorney can provide additional guidance to managing the scheduling details of that plan.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "3 Ways to Help Your Kids Understand Your Parenting Plan with the OFW Calendar," accessed Sep. 14, 2017

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