Effective Co-Parenting Back-to-School Tips
As co-parent to your kids, you know that communicating and cooperating benefits everyone, and most importantly, makes the children feel loved and secure. So regardless of any negative feelings you may have toward your ex, you put on a brave face and make things work for the kids. With the freedom of summer behind you, transitioning to the demands of the school year can put a little extra strain on everyone. Here are some ideas to make it work:
1- Keep it real. There’s no need to play games by trying to exclude the other parent from school preparation, school activities, or school communications. Having both parents involved in and supportive of the education process is essential for maximum outcomes.
2- Avoid duplicate purchases. Both parents may wish to contribute to the school start-up, and if you both know that your child really wants a specific pair of Vans to start out the year, discuss who will be getting them so there’s no problem with two pairs of shoes showing up with the new school loot.
3- Be on the same page. Don’t have last minute conflicts about who’s paying for what, who’s picking up who from where, extra-curricular activities and their impact on time-sharing, or emergency plans. Try to put together contingency plans for a variety of scenarios, with the impact on the kids a top priority.
4- Conference with teachers together if possible. While you live separately, you do share the kids, and teachers should know that you’re both there to support the kids. That means working on any school issues as a team.
5- Attend school functions. You don’t have to sit together at football games or violin concerts, but it’s important to attend to demonstrate your support, and to be cordial at all school events.
6- Share a calendar. There are apps out there like Google Calendar or Cozi that allow you to make sure you both know of upcoming events involving the kids. Calendar sharing actually reduces your face time with your ex while allowing information to flow.
7- Beyond schedules and appointments, share what you know about your children’s health, attitude, and overall well-being. It’s important for kids to know that both parents are on TEAM KID, and that’s hard to accomplish if one parent is in the dark about how the child is feeling.
Making it Work
To be clear, every divorce is different, and some splits are much more difficult than others. But studies show that kids do better when their parents cooperate and work together for the benefit of the kids. And it can be done. For all of your divorce and family law needs, contact the experienced and knowledgeable Boca Raton family law attorneys at WiseLieberman.