If you divorced over the summer, you and your child will be facing the uncharted waters of navigating the school year post-divorce. Effective co-parenting can be key to ensuring the new school year runs smoothly.
Keep the lines of communication open
You need to be able to communicate with your ex if you want to co-parent effectively. Keep emotions in check. If face-to-face conversations risk turning into arguments, you can email, text or even pass a notebook back and forth with your ex.
You need to be able to share key information about your child. This includes informing your ex about school events and grades and giving them the option to participate in your child’s education. It also means making sure the school and your child’s teachers know of your divorce and who to communicate key information with.
Stay flexible when the unexpected happens
You will likely need to be flexible when it comes to co-parenting. Sometimes this means having to compromise. Surprises will come with the everyday care of your child and your personal life, so being able to accommodate these changes can help smooth over potential conflict. With regards to school this means adjusting to days off, sick days and after school activities.
Keep the rules consistent
You and your ex will also benefit from being on the same page when it comes to household rules. You do not want to create a dynamic where one parent is the “fun” parent, and the other parent is not. Plus, your child will benefit from the stability that comes with knowing what rules to expect. Children should know when to do their homework, when to go to bed and how to prepare for the next school day.
Co-parenting is not always easy but if done right it can help your child transition into their post-divorce life. Change can be scary both for adults and children, but by keeping the best interests of your child in mind and through effective co-parenting you and your child can move forward from your divorce into the school year on the right foot.