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A routine is crucial when bonding with a child

You and your spouse are talking over your proposed parenting plan. You're trying to be as civil about the divorce as possible, and you want to work together to find a plan that really puts your child first.

One thing to consider is that children bond with their parents, to a large degree, just by spending time with them. The daily routine may seem boring and repetitive, but it's actually very important because it gives that relationship time to form.

For example, experts note that attachment bonds can be created during bedtime routines and rituals for waking up in the morning. Maybe you read your child a story every night before bed, for instance, or prepare breakfast together every morning. These seem like little things, but they're important moments of consistency and quality time.

Other routines include taking the child to school, picking him or her up from school or taking the child to extracurricular activities. Kids often value knowing that parents are at sports practices, games, theater productions, piano recitals, school band performances and many other such events.

Why is this important? It paints a picture of the need for equal parenting time if you both want to bond well with the child. It's often not enough for one parent to just drop by for visits or take the child overnight on occasion. Both parents need to be involved on a consistent basis, and it may be wise to have your parenting plan reflect that use of time.

Be sure you know what the parenting plan means for your rights, your child's rights and the legal obligations you and your ex both have moving forward.

Source: Psychology Today, "Equal Parenting and the Quality of Parent-Child Attachments," Edward Kruk, accessed Aug. 24, 2017

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