The Massachusetts Model Parenting Plans are not mandatory or presumptive. They do not represent the"law". They are not intended to be strict guidelines; nor do they indicate that there should be aminimum or maximum amount of parenting time for either parent.
The plans are designed to be educational, informational and practical tools for parents who face important decisions relative to the care of their children.
The period from 12 to 24 months is a period of rapid development in Massachusetts children. The baby has developed greater physical skills. Children this age can feel comfortable with multiple caregivers. One to two year olds are becoming independent and developing the ability to comfort themselves (thumb sucking or holding favorite toy or blanket). Children continue to need a great deal of holding, caressing, gentleness, and direct eye contact. They still need their adult caregivers to meet their physical and emotional needs. They benefit from repetitive play and still need similar routines (sleep, eat, wake) in both households. Children this age can hold a memory of an adult they haven't seen for a short amount of time (a day or two) but may still show fear or distress at the time of next contact, and cannot tolerate long separations. They also recognize and react to harsh words or anger. Reliability and consistency of time spent continues to be crucial.
Transitions between homes may become difficult atthis age. It important to be sensitive to what the child is experiencing but recognize that most children calm down within a short period of time after the exchange has occurred.
Involvement Necessary to Form and Maintain Close Relationship with a Child:
10 - 12 parenting times [three times weekly] per month. Plans will vary depending on previous relationship and time spent with child.
SUCCESSFUL PLANS COULD INCLUDE:
1. Three time periods of 4 - 6 hours during the week (e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday)
2. Two weekday contacts of 4 - 6 hours and one longer weekend contact which might include an overnight
3. Two weekday contacts of 4 - 6 hours and one longer weekend contact, including an overnight if that parent has previously cared for the child overnight
Communication between parents is essential. Parents need to let the other parent know about things like: Sleeping and naps, feeding and any new foods, changes in behavior, special games or toys, illness or fever, any new adults in the child's life and any new skills emerging. This can be done using notes, email or phone.
Crafting a unique parenting plan tailored to your and your children's needs can be daunting at times.
Contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation to discuss your particular situation.