When creating a shared parenting plan for a child, one of the first factors to consider is the child’s age. The age of the child will have a big impact on how the parenting responsibilities will be shared, the frequency and length of visits, and how the parents can help the child adjust. Here is some advice for making a shared parenting plan for a toddler (ages 18 months to 3 years).
During the time as a toddler, a child develops quickly and substantially in many areas. It is during this time that the child recognizes himself as an individual and starts to act independently. Toddlers begin to express their own wills and desires and want to assert themselves. We have many more Parenting Help Articles Now Available.
Children at this age form attachments to many caregivers–child care workers, parents, grandparents, etc. They may also become fearful about transitions. This is important to note in your parenting plan. The child may have difficulty with separation so steps should be enacted to make this easier. It might be helpful to have the parent dropping off the child drive to the other parent’s house. It is also good if parents support each other and avoid negative talk and situations. Toddlers are sensitive to tension and anger.
A child of this age will do better with a predictable schedule. It’s important that both parents have regular visits with the children and that the visits are consistent. During the visits the parent should have enough time to give care to the child. This care should include feeding, napping, playing, clothing, and bathing the child. All of these activities will help the toddler bond with the parent.
A toddler is able to handle overnight visits. It is best to space these visits throughout the week so that the child isn’t away from either parent for too long. A child this age can handle being away for two or three days but not much longer than that. During this age parents can start telephone contact. The children will recognize the parents voice over the phone and will like the contact. The children also recognize pictures, so a picture of the other parent in the toddler’s room is a good idea.
This is a fun age. Parents should do fun activities with their toddler and keep note of the development. As with any child, the parents need to have good communication so they are parenting the best they can. We have many more Parenting Help Articles Now Available.