Co-parenting children during the school season, with sports, clubs, dance and other activities are difficult enough when parents are living together. After a separation, juggling all the activities, homework and supporting the kids, takes even more commitment.
Below are 7 tips to help successfully navigate this challenging, yet super important time for your family.
1. Create a school and activity schedule and share weekly updates and changes
Include special events and day’s off calendars. Make plans to cover school closures, special holidays etc. Make plans to attend parent teacher conferences together.
2. Agree on routines that support your child including, bedtimes, homework help and even weekly homework checkups with your kids – consider a homework check list that stays with your child regardless of which parent they are with.
3. Be sure that your child has all that they need when they go between houses.
This can include medicine, favorite toys, back packs, and school supplies.
…create a safe space for each other to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s experiences and behaviors.
4. Make sure the kids are covered for lunch, whether it’s packing a lunch or supplying lunch money.
5. Share any concerns with your ex and ask them to share with you.
Create a safe space for each other to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s experiences and behaviors. Encourage each other to share by accepting each other’s concerns and avoiding judgement, belittling, or minimizing. Put your kids first and support each other as parents.
6. Be a safe place for your child to discuss homework that might include family trees, photos of family members or essays about their family, or important people in their life.
Work with your ex, and their family if needed to help your child complete these assignments with no added stress caused by uncertain family relationships.
7. Share photos of the kids’ activities, special moments, and celebrations with your ex, and their family members.
This sends a strong signal to your kids, that they still have a tight, extended family that is there to support them. It also lets extended family feel included and important.
Communication and working together is key. This can be tough before breaks up or in amicable separations. It’s more difficult if there is anger, blame or hurt feelings that are unresolved. It’s important enough to have a private conversation with your ex. Appeal to them as a parent and ask to have a space to focus on the kids, their schedules and needs. Hopefully they will agree and participate. If not, you can continue to communicate using the tips above and are continuing to communicating all the information that is important to your kids schedule and well-being.
Regardless of other’s responses, putting your children’s needs first, being civil and communicating important information will always add to your children’s success in life.