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Don’t overlook electronics in your parenting plan

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Electronics are integral to American society, yet many parenting plans fail to include provisions about their use and access. This isn’t a mistake you want to make.

Most of the time, that’s because the children are still fairly young when the parents divorce. Other times, one parent will assume that the current “rules” regarding electronic use will continue after the divorce — only to be upset later when the other parent changes the rules for their home.

Electronics make it easier for parents who don’t live full-time with their children to stay connected and maintain their bonds with their children. It makes it easier for a child to reach out whenever they want — or need — to talk with that parent. With that in mind, here are some things your parenting plan should address:

  • What rules surround the child’s ability to have electronics? Can one parent decide to give the kids an iPad, for example, or does that have to be a joint decision?
  • What rules surround screen time? Is a child allowed unlimited amounts of screen time on their electronics (so long as school work and other chores are accomplished first) or is screen time limited?
  • At what age can a child have a cellphone? Is it important for a child to have a cellphone due to safety concerns, especially when that child is away from home?
  • How and when can a parent contact a child via their electronics? Are there any limits (like never after bedtime unless the other parent is contacted first)?
  • Who pays the cellphone service and the other electronics? That bill can add up over time, especially if there’s more than one child.

Working through all of the details in a parenting plan can be hard. It’s easier when you have experienced assistance. Find out more about how to handle the situation if your current parenting plan has some unfortunate gaps.

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