Editor’s Note: If you’re divorced or separated, then you’re likely a two-home parent, meaning that your children divide their time between two homes.  The following checklist provided by Karen Bonnell will help ensure that you’re meeting your role as a two-home parent.  

Home life: meal prep/packing lunches, dressing, bathing, bedtime routines, morning routines, activities, play dates, and maintaining the home environment

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Nurturing skills: listening, soothing, calming, patience, guiding, protecting and gently building confidence

Structuring skills: following through on chores, logical consequences for choices, maintaining rhythms and schedules, problem-solving, and appropriate application of discipline

School: connecting to academic websites, supervising/supporting homework, maintaining relationships with teachers/school groups, attending childcentered activities and parent-teacher conferences

Healthcare: meeting day-to-day healthcare needs, managing medications, communicating with your coParent when medical intervention or something unusual happens, and participating in decision making regarding health care per your parenting plan agreements

Belongings: keeping a set of basic clothing and personal care items for each child in your home, as well as typical over-the-counter medications your children may need

Space: provide your children adequate space, bedding, toys and elements to meet their comfort needs in their home with you

Transitions: helping prepare for transition to their other home, packing, facilitating transportation per agreements, and providing a transition report so your co-parent is up and running with the information he/she needs to take over duty with the children

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Karen Bonnell’s book, THE PARENTING PLAN HANDBOOK.


About Karen Bonnell

Karen has over 25 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families facing transition, loss, stress and change. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Karen has been Board certified and licensed as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner since 1982. She served on the faculty of University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University & Seattle Pacific University before beginning full-time private practice in 1984. She continues to be a provider of Professional Continuing Education to both health care and legal professionals.

Karen served on the Board of King County Collaborative Law and Collaborative Professionals of Washington. She is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and Academy of Professional Family Mediators.

Her work is found through Unhooked Books: https://www.unhookedmedia.com/#home.