Childhood development experts note that kids need to be involved with both parents in order to undergo normal development. While this is important at any age, it’s especially critical for the formative years between 6 years old and 12 years old.
Between 6 and 8, kids are starting to become independent. Some of the skills they need for this are developing. They’re also expanding their sphere as they create groups of friends and stronger relationships outside of the home.
Between 9 and 12, this growth just continues. There is a greater focus on academic skills, artistic skills and athletic skills. They become more aware of themselves, their weaknesses and their strengths.
Having the support of a parent at this time is crucial. It helps to develop their skills and makes them stronger when identifying and dealing with their weaknesses. The way they think of themselves at this time can help to define their personalities for the rest of their lives. Parents who are both around can help make children more confident and can help them develop skills that they’ll keep forever.
That’s why experts suggest that parents seek as much parenting time as possible. Even if this just means visitation, it should be done frequently. It may also mean joint custody so that the kids get to be around both parents more equally.
Again, this isn’t to say that older or younger kids don’t also need their parents, but the six years discussed above are especially crucial. Parents need to keep this in mind when considering parenting time, their own rights and the best interests of the child.
Source: Family Education, “Age-Appropriate Visitation,” accessed Oct. 25, 2017