How to Create a Parenting Time Schedule with Children of Different Ages

When there is more than one child in a family, it is usually beneficial for parents to create one parenting time schedule for all of the children. This is a supportive way to maintain sibling relationships. However, when there are significant age differences between siblings, children may benefit from different parenting time schedules due to their different developmental needs. In some cases, parents may wish to have older children and younger children on different schedules at first, and gradually transition the younger child into the older child’s schedule. In other cases, younger children who have close relationships with older siblings may be able to follow a schedule that is designed around the older child’s developmental needs, as the sibling relationship provides additional comfort and support for the younger child. When considering how to structure a parenting time schedule for children of different ages, it is important to consider each child’s temperament, the child’s relationship with each parent, and the child’s relationship with the older siblings. Parents may also wish to have alone time with children of different ages and may want to create a schedule that includes alone times for each parent with each child.