Now that everyone is back to school, here are some important things to remember for divorced families:
1. Be Mindful of the Schedule. Parents often look forward to the routine and structure of school, that is often lost in the summer months. Kids need that same sort of structure. Depending on the age of the children, help keep them apprised of the schedule with an online-scheduler or written calendar. Remember that changes to a schedule affect everyone – so be mindful of how adjustments will be accepted by everyone. You have to balance flexibility and adaptability.
2. Stock up on School Supplies. Kids often display anxiety with the need to remember clothes, school supplies, or materials for extra curricular activities (sports equipment, musical instruments, school supplies, etc.). Make sure both houses are stocked up or the kids have a good routine (with parent support) to make sure they have everything they need at both homes.
3. Start Communicating. There are so many elements of children’s daily lives that they are interested in sharing after a busy day at school. And then the school often communicates with parents via emails or handouts. Sometimes things are learned during school pick-up or by talking to another parent. This information should be shared — come up with a routine for sharing relevant information about the kids so that both parents are fully informed. Daily emails or texts are often an easy way to keep the off duty parent informed.
4. Plan for Homework and Activities. Kids often have full schedules afters school. Between homework and extra-curricular activities, many parents feel as if their after school hours are as busy as their work days. Together with the children come up with a plan to manage the responsibilities every day. It is okay to have different schedules at each home, but consider coordinating efforts or sharing your plan so both homes can best support the children.
5. Plan for Downtime. Life gets busy. Make effort to find time for fun and relaxation as the busy life of school starts up. Everyone deserves a break – so plan for a game night or go see a movie. You will all appreciate a little downtime.
Tagged with: back to school • children • children in divorce • Co-Parenting