The summer is half over and while there are still plenty of long sunny days to enjoy, the reality is the kids will be going back to school before you know it. As the kids cling onto those last few weeks of summer you are probably trying to hold back your excitement knowing you won’t have to hear the words “I’m bored” one more time!
As great as this time of year can be for a lot of parents, it can also bring a lot of chaos with new bus schedules, activities, sports, drop-offs, pick-ups, etc. If you are a divorced parent, the co-parenting can make the situation that much more difficult to juggle. You now have to work with two parents living in separate homes with different schedules while at the same time keeping lines of communication open.
The following are a few helpful co-parenting tips for those back-to-school days:
- Stay on the same page. This means effective communication between you and the other parent. This also means keeping the kids in the loop if they are old enough to be responsible for their own schedules. In one of our previous blogs we mentioned a few apps that can help you stay organized while co-parenting.
- If your kids spend a relatively equal amount of time with you and the other parent, you should both contribute your time and attention to helping with homework and projects when needed.
- Responsibilities and obligations should also be shared with regard to after school activities, including the drop-offs and pick-ups. Be clear about who is going to be where and when.
- If there are important school events that require parents to be present, try to attend them together if your relationship allows for it. It helps to be on the same page with the events that are going on in your child’s life.
- Your child is the most important part of both of your lives. Keep your child out of any drama or conflict you have with the other parent. Never ask your child to choose sides and do not disparage the other parent in front of the child.
- If you are newly divorced it may be a good idea to inform your child’s teacher so that he or she can be aware if there are any behavioral or academic issues in the classroom.
Back to school time can be a bit chaotic and can take some time to adjust to the new schedules. Be sure to always keep the lines of communication open and remain civil with the other parent as it will help to ensure that there is as little stress for the two of you as possible, well as on your children.