It’s already that time: back-to-school season is in full swing! For divorced/separated/unwed parents, this means a whole lot more than making sure the necessary school supplies are purchased and the first-day outfit is picked out. It also means preparing for a lot of co-parenting.
Make sure you and your kids are prepped for success this upcoming school year by following these 5 back-to-school tips:
- Share your calendar: Creating a single Google calendar that both you and your child’s other parent can share is the easiest way to ensure coordinated schedules; when your schedules are aligned, there’s less room for missing a project deadline, confusing a pickup time, etc. Having a shared calendar with your child’s other parent will allow you to share your schedule ahead of time so there’s never any confusion about who’s doing what, and when.
- Split the cost of school supplies: School supplies can be pricy, especially when there are a lot of materials to purchase. The best way to ensure that neither parent is stuck buying everything (which could breed resentment) is to split the total costs of all supplies purchased before the start of school. Between new backpacks, lunchboxes, pens/pencils, etc. there’s plenty to go around, so get with your ex and divvy up who will buy what. Added bonus: The shopping experience itself can be a fun way for each of you to spend time and bond with your child as you help him/her select their new supplies for the year.
- Make a point to both be at the first day of school: Even the most confident kid can get nervous on the first day of school. If possible, make it a point to have both parents there. This one is more for your child than for you. With the support of both parents, your child will feel more confident as they enter their first day of school, and you can feel good about knowing they started their day with both parents by their side.
- Set designated times to debrief each other: If your child is splitting time between homes, regular debriefing sessions will be important. During these scheduled debrief meetings, you and your ex will have the opportunity to clue-in the other on all important items that pertain to your child. Things to discuss during these meetings: upcoming tests, sports practices, progress on projects due later in the month, emotional/personal developments expressed by your child, etc.
- Keep your child’s routine similar at both houses: Routines are crucial to healthy child development, especially when they’re splitting their time between two homes. The more in sync your schedule is with your ex’s, the easier it will be on your child. Knowing they have a regular schedule to follow – i.e. what time they wake up for school in the morning, what time they do their homework after school, what time dinner is on the table, etc. – the better able they’ll be to seamlessly transition back and forth between homes.
For more tips and information on how to skillfully navigate any family-related matter, read other blogs from our Granite Bay family law attorneys. Contact us today to schedule a consultation: (916) 634-0067.