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Why children need time with their parents

Setting up a parenting plan after divorce isn't just about deciding who has to watch the kids or care for them. Don't view it merely as an obligation. It's also about who gets to spend time with the kids and watch them grow and develop.

It's very important for children to get this time with their parents. It helps their self-esteem tremendously. Kids need to know they are important and loved. When they face other adversity -- such as bullies at school -- it's easier for them to deal with if they already know they have this parental support. It makes them more confident.

Parents often talk about a desire to help their kids while they grow up. Maybe a child battles low self-worth and doesn't seem to think much of himself or herself. Maybe a child has trouble fitting in. Maybe he or she just isn't as popular as other kids in the same class at school.

When parents feel like they can't change any of these things and protect the kids -- which can be true -- it's important to consider a strong home life. One of the best ways to help children overcome these issues is to spend time with them when they're young and give them that strong foundation.

As you're putting together your parenting plan and your custody agreement, it is important to know your rights. At the same time, it's crucial to remember that this isn't just a legal process. It's also an emotional one and a developmental one for your kids. Make sure you put their best interests first.

Source: Parents, "Why Fathers Should Spend Time with Their Kids," Aaron Hass, accessed May 12, 2017

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