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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shared Parenting CAN Work...
It CAN be done!

It's 6:30 on a Friday morning. Missy arrives at her childcare providers home, ready for a new school year. Graduating from grade K to 1st grade brings a whole new schedule for her parents to work out - at home, with the childcare provider, and with the school.

What makes Missy and her schedule different than a lot of other children going back to school this year?
Her parents have a 50/50 shared custody plan.

How do I fit into this?
I'm the childcare provider, and for the past year I have watched Missy's parents work through various scheduling situations, in order to have a workable, shared parenting relationship.

Needless to say, I have changed the names of this family, and I have asked both parents permission to post this.

Missy's mom asked why I wanted to write about them.
All I can say is that Missy's parents do such a tremendous job with shared parenting that they deserve a major shout-out. While handling their own situation, John and Jane S. have been unknowingly setting example of what can be accomplished, when 2 separated/divorced parents work together, for the best interest of their child.

Jane answered my ad for childcare about a year ago, and even though they are divorced, BOTH parents brought Missy to meet with me. It seems they prefer to hire the same childcare provider, instead of Missy having to switch providers every week.
Yes! BOTH Parents worked TOGETHER to find childcare.


At first I was nervous with this shared custody arrangement. I was concerned that I would say something to one parent that would 'upset the cart,' so to say.
But over the course of the year, both parents have impressed me many times over, and I am no longer worried about either of the parents getting jealous about something, starting a fight, or having the police to my house.

I have observed John and/or Jane holding their tongue, instead of making bad comments about the other.

Both John and Jane S. have been flexible enough to smoothly handle Dr. and Dentist appointments.

Missy came home from school one afternoon with a small problem. Even though it was not life threatening, I asked her if she wanted to use the phone and talk with her Mom... Dad didn't freak out because I allowed Missy to call her mom, when it was his week.
I guess he just trusted my judgment on which parent I felt should handle the phone call.
What a smart Dad! Instead of insisting that all phone calls be made to him on his week, he traded off that one phone call - for a lifetime of trust!


Even though it was Mom's week to have Missy, it was Dad's scheduled vacation time, so she allowed Dad to take Missy on summer vacation.
Jane had every right to refuse this request...after all, it was her week!
But she didn't.
What a smart mom! She gave up one of her weeks - for a lifetime of respect!


John and Jane S. don't deserve to be considered a 50/50 parenting arrangement, because from what I've witnessed, BOTH Parents are giving even more than 100%

I frequent various sites and forums that deal with children being used as a pawn, in the 'game of divorce,' and I've seen some rather depressing statistics of parents who alienate their children from the other partner.

I am hoping that this post will give a bit of encouragement to those parents who are searching for ways of better handling their shared custody arrangement.


For many reasons, I think it's important that parents start finding more positive posts/stories about shared parenting.
If you feel you have a working shared parenting arrangement, and you would like to share, please contact me.

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