Co-parenting is a wonderful skill that the best parents seek to master for the betterment of their children. Summertime can be hectic for divorced parents. The end of summer and back-to-school time can be particularly stressful for both children and parents.
The Huffington Post noted that there are several back-to-school issues that divorced parents should address to help their co-parenting plan continue to function smoothly - even if the parents live far apart. Keeping these helpful pointers in mind can help both parents feel involved and promote the happiness and well-being of the children.
Sharing the costs of back to school supplies and clothes
A new school year means new school supplies and clothing. Parents may each choose to take a task, be it back to school supplies or new clothing purchases, so one parent is not overwhelmed with end of summer. It is helpful for the child to understand that both parents are there to encourage the best possible start to the new school year.
If one parent lives far away, that parent may chose to get the supply list and go to a favorite store to gather the items listed and ship them to the child. This is a great way to have the absent parent participate. On the other hand, a custodial parent who lives daily with the child, on the other hand, may take the child clothes shopping.
Sharing school information with the entire family unit
Often a parent who does not see the child daily, even if he or she enjoys joint custody, may feel out of the loop of what is going on in the child's school life and activities. It is important to develop a cohesive strategy for jointly sharing information.
Some tricks or strategies include:
- Setting up a shared calendar of the child's schedule accessible to all family members.
- Creating a group for texting all the family members, which allows the child to text about happy events like getting an "A" on an exam or hitting a home run.
- Having the parent who does not have daily contact the ability to call in to join a teacher parent conference by phone.
- Texting the parent who does not enjoy daily access a photo of the child all ready to head out on the first day of school or any other activity the parent cannot attend.
Methods like these may help parents co-parent their children in a manner that decreases stress for everyone. They can also better allow the child to focus on school while feeling free to share his or her accomplishments with both parents.