How do Co-Parents Make Daycare Choices?


Making decisions concerning childcare can be challenging for parents who are separating or divorcing. Making wise shared decisions about childcare may be complicated by poor communication, frequent arguments, or resentment resulting from past problems. Even though it may be challenging to talk about this subject, it’s crucial that co-parents agree on the best options for childcare.

The great majority of parents use some type of daycare to watch over their young children while they are at work. This is especially true for parents who no longer share a home after a divorce, separation, or custody dispute. In other situations, a child will need to go to daycare because a parent is going back to work for the first time in a long time to support themselves.

A co-parent is not allowed to deny the other parent access to the child’s daycare center or withhold information regarding babysitters. Both you and the other parent have equal rights to information and participation when it comes to childcare when you split custody.

Child’s safety is priority

Your child should feel safe and secure wherever they may be, and whoever is looking after them should be someone that you and  your co-parent can rely on. Make sure the person has prior experience caring for youngsters, or that they are trained in baby or child CPR and other emergency measures, while selecting the best candidate to look after your child.

Ask the persons you discuss this matter with if they are willing to watch your child at one or both of your houses, or if you must bring your child to their house or childcare center. Visit the place before agreeing to leave your child there if they are unable to come to your home. Make sure that the location is both kid- and adult-friendly.

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Think about various forms of childcare

There are many options for childcare, so you should weigh them all before deciding which one is best for your family. You could hire a live-in nanny if you require full-time childcare. In this case, think about whether they will require access to both of your residences. This might be feasible if you live close enough to one another and your childcare provider is accommodating.

Find a babysitter or sitters that you and your co-parent can call if you don’t require full-time childcare for your kids, for example on federal holidays or snow days, when daycare is closed but parents are still expected to work. You don’t need to deal with further disagreement because of your choice of babysitter, so make sure that these are somebody that you both can agree on.

Consider daycare if you don’t live close enough for someone to commute between your houses or if you and your co-parent are unable to come to an agreement on this solution. You and your co-parent can leave your child at a daycare facility away from the house where they will be watched over by one or more competent adults. Daycare centers usually watch over numerous kids at once, so this is a terrific chance for your kids to meet new friends and develop social skills.

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Talk about expenses

When co-parents are at disagreement, the expense of childcare can be a major issue as child care is often expensive. If you and your co-parent decide to split these expenses, the amount of time each of you spends with the child and your individual income will probably affect how much each of you will pay. In any case, try to collaborate with your co-parent to find a daycare center that is both reasonable and practical for you both, as well as appealing to your child.

Families with modest incomes can typically access childcare subsidies. Childcare assistance programs offer money to working parents or, in some situations, parents who are enrolled in school to help with the expense of licensed in-home or center-based child care. Qualifying requirements differ by state so if you want to apply, you will have to find out how does child care subsidy work where you live and its benefits.

Put everything on paper

As soon as you and your co-parent come to a decision regarding childcare, it should be put in writing. This is typically accomplished when creating your parenting strategy. Cover each matter on which you have made a choice in your plan. These could include things like a list of the child care institutions you’ve approved, how to pay for the associated expenses, how to get to and from child care facilities, and much more.

Consider including this information in your parenting plan even if you are amending an earlier arrangement for childcare by switching nannies or hiring new babysitters. Consult your lawyer for advice on how to proceed because you might need to file your revisions with the court in order to include them in your existing papers.

In conclusion

All these actions will help you and your child in the long run as you decide how to handle childcare as co-parents. Setting up your child’s care schedule, your parental obligations, and your new connection with the child’s other parent can all be done with the help of a co-parenting plan. Making sure that your child can develop secure and positive bonds with all their parents is crucial.

Balancing Blended Families: How to Avoid Badmouthing

How to Avoid Badmouthing

With the holidays comes a certain amount of tension. As a matter of fact, 88% of Americans find the holiday season to be one of the most stressful times of the year! It gets even harder when you’re trying to manage a blended family and can lead to bad behavior like badmouthing. 

Often, with all of the added stressors of the holidays, parents aren’t on their best behavior. They’re worn down from holiday shopping, decorations, parties, work, work engagements, and the cold and dreary weather.

Under enough stress, they snap. They may resort to “less than ideal” behavior. Badmouthing (among other types of stress-related behavior) is bad for the children (and the family dynamic as a whole). 

Read on to learn how to avoid it. 

Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time

It’s no secret that the holidays are going to bring with them some serious stressors. You already know this, so start preparing weeks (if not more) ahead of time. 

This is a great time to start journaling, practicing self-care (more on that later), and potentially talking to someone about your concerns. Talk to your counselor about how you’re feeling and some worries you have about how the holidays will go. 

Don’t leave room for surprises. 

If you’re going to be sending your child(ren) from one home to another, know exactly how the pick-up and drop-off will go. Plan a time and location so you can prepare both yourself and your family. 

You should also plan the unrelated details of your holiday ahead of time. The better-prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll be. That will make it easier for you to stay on good behavior. 

Plan How to React

While you’re preparing, try to consider any potential events that could trigger an emotional response. Not reacting poorly in the moment is a challenge for anyone, and it’s understandable that stress would make it even more difficult.

Consider potential scenarios that could come up. Whether it’s a fight between you (or a family member) and your co-parent, someone being late for pick-up or drop-off, or snide comments, it’s good to know how you plan to respond in a healthy way. 

Find Ways to Relieve Stress

Try to find self-care and stress-relief methods on the days and weeks leading up to the holidays. 

You’re likely going to be busy with holiday preparations, but do what you can to take breaks every now and again. Give yourself an at-home spa day, let a babysitter or family member watch the kids, go see a movie with friends, or find one of the countless other opportunities to remove yourself from your stressors for just a few hours.

Consider talking to a therapist if you don’t already. It’s not uncommon for people to only see therapists during times of stress. With a therapist, you can also “badmouth” your former partner as much as you’d like to in a safe and harmless environment.

Your therapist may also be able to help you re-route those negative thoughts into something more positive. 

Collaborate With Your Co-Parent

If it’s possible to do so, work together with your co-parent to make the situation as relaxing as possible.

If you plan on spending time together, that’s amazing! Not everyone can do that, so that’s a great thing you’re doing for your child. You also know it can be even more frustrating than just doing a pick-up and drop-off, however.

Plan ahead. Talk about things on the “not to do” list that you can both avoid to prevent any unnecessary tension. Talk about topics that you won’t bring up.

Consider coming up with a “cue” that you can use to tell the other parent that you need to go take a break. You can both use this non-verbal cue if you’re feeling your tempers rise. 

If you’re spending most of the time apart, you should still collaborate. Talk to your former partner about what you will and will not say around the children. Remember, this is not your child’s problem. 

Think Before You Speak

This seems simple, but it’s tougher than you think during a stressful time.

Always take a second to breathe before you react to something upsetting. Often, our mouths move faster than our brains! Give yourself a moment to think before you say something you regret.

It’s always better to be silent than to badmouth. 

Avoid Passive Aggression

This is a tough one!

Many parents are fantastic at avoiding overt badmouthing, but they may dip into passive aggression when they’re feeling upset. It’s totally understandable during stressful holidays, but it’s not as subtle as you think it is.

Children can pick up on passive aggression, so you’re not hiding your badmouthing by making it more subtle. Your co-parent will also pick up on it and it could make the situation worse.

If you have a problem, excuse yourself and your co-parent and speak directly. 

Focus on the Holiday

At the end of the day, all you can do is focus on the joy of the holiday. You want to create the best holiday experience for your child (and yourself), so make the most of it.

Yes, it’s stressful. Yes, your co-parent may irritate you or do something you don’t expect. You may do the same to them without realizing it!

Try to get into the holiday spirit anyway. Focus on what’s good.

Avoid Badmouthing During the Holidays

While the holidays can bring out the worst in us, badmouthing is never the answer. Practice self-care, see a counselor, prepare ahead of time, and consider the other recommendations on our list.

Are you looking for a tool that can make co-parenting easier and less stressful for parents and children alike? 2houses gives you access to a family journal, a family calendar, financial organization features, and more. Give it a try today.

Parental separation and divorce: how to support children

Divorce or separation

Divorce or separation usually mean significant changes to family life. Children may be upset and depressed as these changes take place. It’s normal for children to be feeling that way. It will help them understand that this is a challenging moment.

Engaging your child in conversation is among the most effective ways to assist them in adapting to the changes. There are a few actions you can take to aid, such as sticking to routines that are familiar. Try including children in making decisions and receiving assistance. Children should be able to talk with their parents about divorce or separation. Here are some suggestions to talk to your children about the changes divorce or separation brings.

Simple is best

Your child does not have to know everything. However, they have the right to know about what’s going on, and who’s going to be taking charge of them. They should also be confident that things will be okay again.

It is best to communicate in a clear, straightforward, and honest language that your child will understand. For example, “We are in love with you, and we’ll take good care of you. We’ve determined that it’s well for us as a family to have Dad and I live separately.”

Make sure you take your time when answering difficult questions

Sometimes, you don’t know the answer to an unanswerable question, so allow yourself to think. Assure your child that you’ll come back to them. It is possible to say, “I do not know at this moment. The truth is that your Dad, as well as I, are trying to figure it out. However, I am sure that you’ll have time with us both”.

If your child is asking you tough questions regarding their other parent, encourage them to speak to their parent directly. You can also inform them that your child may have asked about concerns.

Pay attention to your child’s needs

There could be a specific concern that is behind your child’s question. For instance, if a child is asking when Mum will return, they are worried about when they’ll meet with Mum. Reassure them using simple phrases that let them know that you’re listening. For example, “It’s like you’re concerned about when you’ll be able to see your mother. It’s still a must to visit Mum on a regular basis. I’m sure that’s vital in your life.” It’s important to assure your child that both you and their other parent are there for them.

Keep the conversation in the air

Your child could constantly be thinking about this topic. Be prepared to answer more than one question. If you schedule an established time for talking, it can provide your child an opportunity to share their concerns. It might be during the time your child comes back from school, while you eat dinner with your family. Prior to taking a reading break, or even while you’re on the road. It is also a good idea to use this regularly scheduled time to inform the child to be aware of any new developments.

Talk about your feelings

Your child is likely to feel unhappy, angry, or sad. This is fine and could be beneficial. If your child can see your expression of emotions in a peaceful and healthy manner, they’ll understand that it’s okay. It’s also essential to inform your child that you care about them and that everything will improve.

When your child expresses emotions, listen attentively. This will give you and your child the opportunity to investigate and comprehend their emotions more clearly. It is possible to say things like, “I can see that you’re angry, and I can understand why it is causing you to feel sad”. It may be hard to understand your child’s feelings of hurt or sadness, particularly if you’re struggling with similar emotions. But your child should communicate, and you’ll better understand the needs of your child by listening.

You can suggest someone else speak to

Sometimes, children are more comfortable discussing their thoughts and feelings with someone other than their parents. Your child may be encouraged to speak to a trusted adult – such as a family member or a teacher. If they will likely be speaking with your child, it’s best to request not to be negative about the other parent.

Routines that children can easily remember following divorce or separation

Routines can help children feel secure, at ease, secure and confident, So keeping a routine can help your child deal with transitions like separation or divorce. Make sure you can identify the small things that matter to your child, such as reading books before bed. Inform your child that these habits will never change. If you are able, you can avoid changing major things such as your child’s school.

It is also important to keep routines. How you wake your child up or the words you speak to them before bed are comforting routines. You are able to create new routines or alter rituals, too. It could be necessary in the event of changes in childcare plans or income. When your kid is of a certain age, you can explore establishing new routines.

Children’s decision-making after divorce or separation

If you are to involve your child in day-to-day decisions, it’ll make them feel in control of their life. For children who are older, it is crucial to pay attention and inform them that their opinion is important. It’s important not to burden kids of any age with huge choices, particularly ones which make them feel trapped.

Family time is a great way to bond with your children

Have a moment to enjoy some amusement, even if it’s an instant hug or playing some music and dancing. It’s also a good idea to take a few actions at the occasion like eating a meal as a picnic at the local park. Let the teachers at your child’s preschool, or school be aware of the situation. They’ll be able to spot any changes in your child’s behavior and could offer alternative support options, including school counselors.

If you’re concerned about your preschooler’s or school-age child’s mental health, or your child’s preteen or teenage mental health, speak to your GP whenever you can. They will be able to help you locate other specialists who can assist, including psychologists in your area.

About the Author: Emma Flores

Emma Flores is lucky enough to turn her interests into a job. Editor and proofreader during work hours, as well as a freelance writer during weekends and a mother all the time. She is at her most in the morning, with headphones on. Emma is working with StudyCrumb to provide tips for making academic papers that are of high-quality standards.