As the new school year approaches, it can be a stressful time for parents who are going through or have recently gone through a divorce. The transition of co-parenting can become very complicated and overwhelming if not handled properly. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help create a smooth co-parenting routine. In this blog post, we will cover how to deal with overwhelm and complications with co-parenting, routine agreements to basic childcare, rules and routines, and how to help children in two households with logistics such as clothes, necessities, backpack, homework, and sports gear, etc
Communication is key in any co-parenting process, and it’s especially necessary during the back-to-school season. It’s essential to create a stable routine agreement that works for both parties and is in the child’s best interest. Begin by making a schedule for the school year, including holidays, birthdays, and other special events or extracurricular activities. You can also create a digital online shared calendar that both parents can access to view these turn-taking responsibilities, so everyone is aware of who will have the children at any given time. Two examples are 2 Houses and Our Family Wizard
The next step is ensuring that both parents are aware of the basics of childcare rules and routines. This can include bedtimes, mealtimes, snack times, screen time, and more. Some high conflict divorces can make aspects of routines and rules more challenging. Some parents cannot communicate well and choose Parallel Parenting or even Counter Parenting. This is something to discuss with a counselor or divorce coach.
Back-to-School Finances. Another aspect to consider during back-to-school is how to handle clothing and necessities, such as backpacks, supplies, and sports gear. Many parents find it helpful to create a shared list of items that each parent wants to purchase for the child. Some will split costs, with one parent buying clothes while the other parent purchases sports gear. The most important thing is to ensure that the children have everything they need in both households. Some of the family apps have ways to track these expenses. Sophie help a woman in a high conflict divorce with aspects of financial abuse negotiate an escrow account to be established for the children’s expenses.
“Sophie’s idea of an escrow account for the children was a game changer. The lawyers negotiated it further and put it in the settlement. They included that any previous expenses did not have to be prep approved so this really cuts down on the need to communicate and negotiate further. Now the children’s extra curricular activities are ensured with a budget as these expense are beyond child support. Previous to Sophie’s help I was paying them all myself.”
Homework Helping children with homework can also be difficult when there are two households involved in the co-parenting process. One helpful tip is to create a homework email chain or a google document, where both parents can communicate about the child's assignments, tests, and projects. Your child’s teacher may also use something like google classroom or can make sure to send duplicate print outs. It is essential that both parents provide their contact information. This can help eliminate any confusion about deadlines or requirements and ensure that the child has access to all required materials.
Lastly, it’s essential to maintain open and respectful communication during the back-to-school season and beyond. If conflicts arise, be sure to address them calmly and objectively rather than becoming defensive or combative. Communication is key in maintaining a successful co-parenting relationship. Depending on the dynamics of your relationship extra help in figuring out how to communicate in the best interest of the child and your own self care is incredibly important.
Overall, the back-to-school season can be a complicated and stressful time for co-parenting families. However, by establishing a clear routine, rules, and guidelines, communicating effectively, and maintaining a respectful attitude, the transition can be much smoother. Remember, by working together to create a stable environment for the child, everyone benefits in the end. The new school year has plenty of potential for success and growth for your children and your new family dynamics.
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