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As Children Grow Their Needs Change

Tags: changing needs, growing up, decision making, parental involvement, responsibilities, communication between parents, co-parenting, parenting time plans, childrens needs, childrens needs change, children getting older
Content Types: Children In the Middle
Categories: After Separation

Children grow up and develop through different stages, gradually becoming more involved in the world outside their immediate families. Starting nursery and school are both significant steps and usually mark the start of children developing their own social lives. By the time children reach their mid to late teens it can seem that friends and socialising are more important than the family!

It's good if both parents can be involved in the planning and decision making around these stages and changes.

These transitions can also trigger the need to review the arrangements. Older children may want to take on part time jobs or have weekend sleepovers at their friends'. For new school children, parents need to factor in that parenting time now has to be built around the beginning and end of the school day and term times. There are also the added responsibilities of making sure that homework gets done and the school uniform is washed and ready for Monday morning. For parents whose children spend part of the school week at both homes, planning and good communication are key to keeping life easy.

If your co-parenting relationship is good, you'll find that adapting the arrangements to suit your children's changing needs is not a big issue. If, however, you find agreeing changes with the other parent difficult you may avoid discussing the need to review things and find suddenly things aren't working anymore.

Realistically though, most parenting time plans have a shelf life of about two years. Sticking rigidly to an out dated plan can be very constricting to children. Be prepared to accept that reviewing the arrangements is a normal part of sharing the joys and challenges of watching your children grow up.

New parents and siblings

It's common for children to become parts of new families after their parent's relationship ends. The prospect of a new baby brother or sister is exciting to children of all ages. If you're the other parent you may have mixed feelings about your ex's new family but it's nice for your children if you are able to support them. At the same time it's an opportunity for you to show goodwill by accommodating changes to the arrangements around the birth of the baby and being flexible around parenting time.

Follow this link for further information children in the middle after a separation

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