Parenting Time Schedule Part 2

Cindy Best

12 to 24- Months

One- to two-year-olds are becoming more aware of the world around them and the people who are frequently in contact with them. A baby at this age can be attached to many caregivers including grandparents, other extended family members, daycare providers, babysitters and family friends who are frequently in contact with the child.

One- to two-year-olds are also becoming independent and are developing the ability to comfort themselves by thumb sucking or holding onto favorite blankets or toys. Their sleeping and eating schedules are also becoming regular. They continue to respond to the different (but equally valuable) types of parenting mothers and fathers provide. Two-year-olds commonly test parental limits (?terrible twos?) and appropriate parental responses can build the child?s self-esteem for years to come.

Transitions between homes may become difficult for some one- to two-year-olds and they may become upset at these times. Some resistance to exchanges is normal for some children. This behavior does not necessarily mean that the other parent is not a good parent or that the child does not want to be with the other parent. Parents can make exchanges easier for the child by following predictable schedules and by supporting the child?s relationship with the other parent.

 

Plan A(1): Three periods of three to six hours spaced throughout the week.

Comment: frequent contact helps the parent and child bond.

 

Plan A(2): Two six-hour periods spaced throughout each week.

Comment: This plan is helpful when the parents? work schedules or their levels of conflict make more frequent exchanges difficult. Because there are only two visits each week in this plan, bonding between the parent and child may proceed more slowly and the child may experience some difficulty going from one parent to the other.

 

Vacation: Time blocks that vary significantly from the above are not recommended.

 

Holidays: When holidays or special occasions like Father?s Day, Mother?s Day and birthdays do not fall on a parent?s access day, parents should consider dividing them consistent with the time blocks noted above.

 

Plan B: Two four-hour periods and one eight-hour period spaced throughout each week.

(See Plan A above for Vacation and Holidays).

 

Plan C: One daytime period of three to six hours and two non-consecutive overnights each week.

 

Vacation: Presuming that Plan C overnights have been ongoing, parents may have one period of three consecutive overnights, midweek or weekend, with children 12 to 18 months olds. After the age of 18 months, parents may have two one-week periods separated by at least four weeks. Each parent shall give the other parent thirty days? written notice of his/her vacation plans and an itinerary of travel dates, destination and places where the child or parent can be reached.

 

Holidays: When holidays or special occasions like Father?s Day, Mother?s Day and birthdays do not fall on a parent?s access day, parents should consider dividing them consistent with the time blocks noted above.

 

24 to 36 Months

Ages two to three are an important time for children to develop independent skills. Although children this age are learning to be independent, they may still cling to their caregiver and resist separation. They may be negative and say ?NO!? to parents? requests and demands just to express their independence. They may also be fearful about unfamiliar activities and objects. Predictable, regularly scheduled routines help children manage their fears and help them learn that the world is a safe place. Moving between parent?s homes may become difficult for children at this age and they may become upset. This behavior does not necessarily mean that the other parent is not a good parent or that the child does not want to be with the other parent. Parents must ensure that the transitions between the two parents? homes are free of parental arguing and tension.

 

Plan A(1): Two three- to four-hour periods and one eight-hour period spaced throughout each week.

 

Vacation: Time blocks that vary significantly from the above are not recommended.

 

Holidays: When holidays or special occasions like Father?s Day, Mother?s Day and birthdays do not fall on a parent?s access day, parents should consider dividing them consistent with the time blocks noted above.

 

Plan A(2): Two periods of three to six hours and one overnight each week.

 

Vacation: Presuming Plan A(2) overnights have been ongoing, parents may have two one-week periods separated by at least four weeks. Each parent shall give the other parent thirty days? written notice of his/her vacation plans and an itinerary of travel dates, destinations and places where the child or parent can be reached.

 

Holidays: When holidays or special occasions like Father?s Day, Mother?s Day and birthdays do not fall on a parent?s access day, parents should consider dividing them consistent with the time blocks noted above.

 

Plan B: One period of three to six hours and two non-consecutive overnights each week.

Comment: Ideally a child this age should not be separated on a regular schedule from either parent for longer than three days.

 

Vacation: Presuming that Plan B overnights have been ongoing, Use Plan A(2) vacation plan above for this age group.

 

Holidays: See Plan A(2) Holidays above for this age group.

 

Plan C: One period of three to six hours and two consecutive overnights each week.

 

Vacation: Presuming that Plan C overnights have been ongoing, use Plan A(2) Vacation plan above for this age group.

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