Meeting the needs of your children during the first part of the school year can be difficult if you are divorcing or have recently divorced. Children have to deal with getting back in the groove of school and handling the various stresses that can be associated with it. Significant changes such as living between two homes or seeing one parent less can exacerbate the situation.
Co-parenting can sometimes be challenging, particularly soon after a divorce, but it is necessary for both parties to work together so that they can provide what is in the best interests of the children wherever possible.
With that in mind, we've provided some tips on how to co-parent effectively during this back-to-school period.
- Focus on Communication. Clear and continuous communication is the key to making sure everyone is on the same page, including with your ex, if possible. This may require having periodic meetings during which the children can speak to both parents at the same time. They can discuss their classes, friends or other topics. This is also the time to make sure everyone is aware of any changes to scheduling, pick-up and drop-off times and extracurricular activities. Both you and your co-parent should always be easily reachable by cellphone and by work phone in case it is necessary to get in touch in a hurry.
- Establish routines at home. Having constancy at the homes of both parents can be important to children. As an example, one way to accomplish this is to set aside space in both homes as a homework area.
- Be careful about language. As the children return to school, both parents should focus on their children's welfare and only voice support and comfort. Avoid speaking ill about the other parent in the presence of the children.
While going back-to-school can be difficult for children soon after a divorce, a focus on parenting can help children get a positive and productive start to the year.