The long summer days are winding down and the start of the school year is here. Whether you are a newly divorced couple or have been divorced for years, making the proper adjustments to the new schedule can be stressful for both the parents and the children.
Co-parenting during the new back to school routine is going to require a lot of open communication, juggling of schedules, and flexibility by both parents. The following are some helpful tips to help ensure the process is as stress free as possible for everyone involved:
- Always put the children’s needs and interests first. Get their schedules and activities in order and then move forward with adjusting your schedule and making sure your ex-spouse is on the same page.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Regardless of your relationship with the other parent, it is important to remain civil and communicate clearly with one another about the children. This is especially true if you are both going to be “hands on” when it comes to parenting the children.
- Make an effort to attend school functions together, but if that is truly out of the question for the both of you, find a way to split the time evenly.
- Children work better with a routine so discuss whether the two of you can agree on consistency in the children’s schedule when they are with each parent. For example, keeping a consistent school night bedtime will be helpful for most children.
- If the children are old enough to contribute with regards to choosing and scheduling extracurricular activities, that’s great. However, if you have children that are too young for those decisions, be sure you do not make them the middle man when there are scheduling conflicts. Communicate directly with the other parent rather than using your child to relay information or make decisions.
- The end of the summer can be sad for a lot of children, so think of a fun way to celebrate the fun times you had and the events that you all have to look forward to in the coming school year.
New adjustments can always be difficult, but with an open line of communication and some organization, co-parenting your way through the back to school time period can go a little more smoothly.