Parenting is a verb with starts and stops, but it’s also a team sport. When you say “no” and step out of the ring, who steps in?

When your other coParent, husband or wife, intimate partner, next-door neighbor, nanny, babysitter, or your own mom takes over, the transition should be seamless. This means communicating. Agreeing what the rules and rewards are.

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When’s bedtime?
What chores are expected?
Who’s the pediatrician, just in case?

When nurses change shifts in the hospital, they leave one another updated notes on every patient for exactly the same reason. You and your coParent can do the same. Do your kids go back and forth between two homes? Do they have a regular babysitter or time at Grandma’s? Start a communication book now. Before either of you tags out of the ring, update five categories about each child:

1. Eating/sleeping/toilet visits

2. School/homework

3. Health and medications

4. Friends/social

5. Successes

It’s easy to forget that last category, but don’t. Taking the time to recognize successes is how we keep the wheel from squeaking.


About Benjamin D. Garber, Ph.D

Dr. Ben Garber is a psychologist, expert consultant to family law matters, author and internationally acclaimed speaker.

He has published hundreds of popular press and dozens of peer-reviewed articles about child and family development and divorce. His six books include "Holding Tight/Letting Go: Raising Healthy Kids in Times of Terror and Technology" and "Developmental Psychology for Family Law Professionals."

To purchase Garber's Book, "Holding Tight, Letting Go," visit this link: