Back to School Co-Parenting
The stores are filled with sales on pencils, notebooks, folders, and backpacks. This could only mean one thing: it is back-to-school season! If you are a parent, you have probably been buying supplies, meeting new teachers, and getting back into the swing of the school year. Things may be especially chaotic if you have recently split from your spouse. How can parents manage school schedules and responsibilities while sharing parental responsibilities with their ex? There is no perfect way to co-parent but experts do have some advice for newly divorced parents helping their child go back to school.
- Do not be afraid to involve the school staff. If you are worried about how your child will deal with the strain of school on top of dealing with a changing family, you are not alone. Many families have found themselves in a similar position. The teachers, counselors and other school staff have probably helped dozens of students through such family changes. Do not be afraid to reach out and let your child’s teacher know what is going on at home.
- Check the school’s website for valuable information. As technology becomes a greater and greater part of our everyday lives, many schools are utilizing the internet in order to communicate with parents. Make sure you get on any email or text lists your child’s school may use and check out the school’s website for information. Many schools even post grades online so that parents can see how their children are doing in their classes.
- Get on a consistent schedule. Parenting experts agree that children thrive when their lives are predictable and scheduled. If it is possible, talk to your ex and work out when the child will wake up and when he or she will go to sleep. Will he or she finish homework before or after dinner? Try to have a similar schedule and rules as the child’s other parent.
- Avoid burdening your child with adult worries. As tempting as it is to “trash-talk” a deadbeat ex, doing so will only burden your child with information that they are not equipped to handle. Even if you do not get along with the child’s other parent, remember that they are still an important part of your child’s life. If you need to have a tough conversation with your ex, stick to the facts, and keep the details between the adults.
- Communicate with the other parent. Those who share a child with an ex-spouse are in a different situation than those who do not. Divorced couples who do not have children are able to make a clean break from each other. Once a divorce is finalized, they can move on with their lives. Couples who share a child do not have this ability. Even though you have decided not to be in a romantic relationship with your child’s other parent, you will still have to communicate with him or her regarding your child’s well-being. It can be a difficult process but your child will be happier and healthier for it.
We Can Help
If the back-to-school season has revealed issues that need to be addressed in your parenting plan, contact an experienced Wheaton family law attorney. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation with the Andrew Cores Family Law Group today.