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  4.  » Should you keep a parenting journal?

Should you keep a parenting journal?

Becoming a parent is quite the learning experience. There are plenty of resources, including books and classes, available to help parents at any point, but parenting truly requires one to learn on the job.

Parents always come across something new in their parenting journey. They continue learning and applying the lessons they learn, but what if parents actually tracked how they go about parenting each day?

If they are getting a divorce, it might be helpful to do just that.

Keeping a journal could help when making a custody arrangement

Child custody disputes – whether in mediation or family court – can be challenging for the whole family. Keeping a parenting journal can often help in these situations by providing:

  • A current outline of how parents already divide responsibilities and parenting time; and
  • Evidence to support one’s parenting plan or proposed custody arrangement.

It is not necessary for parents to keep track of every detail of their parenting or their child’s life, but it might be helpful for parents to record:

  • Their role in their child’s everyday life, such as taking them to an activity or appointment;
  • The other parent’s role in the child’s life, and how they participate and uphold their responsibilities;
  • The child’s behavior, as well as how each parent approaches or handles misbehavior; and
  • A basic outline of the child’s schedule, as well as each parent’s schedule.

Many parents who do this simply keep a calendar or planner, so they can keep these details concise and organized.

It can also help parents see how the parenting plan is working

A parenting journal – or custody journal, as they are commonly called – can also help parents see how the custody arrangement works post-divorce. Tracking how custody exchanges work as well as how the children are doing in each parent’s home can help parents determine if they must make any changes to the current arrangement, so they can ensure they meet their child’s needs.

It might seem tedious to keep a parenting journal, but there are some cases where recording one’s parenting journey can help protect their rights as a parent, as well as their child’s best interests in the long run.