In today’s mini episode, we are going to be talking about what level of deference parents should give to their children’s opinion of their parenting schedule, of what the ideal parenting schedule should be. So, the parents may have their own ideas of what they want their schedule to be with their kids, and then how, and to what degree, are they supposed to incorporate, if they are at all, their children’s perspectives on the schedules that they have come up with?
I am not able to answer for each individual family exactly what level of importance or influence they should give to their children’s opinion of their parenting schedule, but as your child gets older, so as they go from zero to age 18 (at which point they age out, you know, they become a legal adult and custody is no longer relevant), their opinion and their preferences about parenting schedule are given increasing levels of importance.
That is not to say that they are or should be deferred to completely. Perhaps that’s the case in your situation. I don’t know. But at a minimum, you are likely going to be giving more deference to a 16 year-old’s opinion of a parenting schedule than you would be giving to a 6 year-old’s opinion of a parenting schedule.
However, the big caveat there is that, please don’t take it from me, on incorporating your child’s preference of parenting schedule into the creation of your parenting schedule. You want to be working with a clinician on this. You want to be working with somebody who is a social worker, a child psychologist, someone who works with children and works from a clinical perspective with parents on co-parenting. And you want to be deferring to that person’s expertise and guidance, which can be tailored to your particular kid or kids and your family about how to and to what degree to incorporate your kid’s preferences into your parenting schedule.