Returning to school can be incredibly challenging for children whose parents have recently gone through a divorce. The landscape of their lives has changed, and now they must adapt to a new routine amidst familiar settings. Even after a separation, parents working together can make the back-to-school transition smoother for their kids. Here are some co-parenting tips to turn this potentially tumultuous period into a growth opportunity for your children:
1. Communication is Key
Before school starts, both parents should sit down and discuss logistics, such as drop-offs, pickups, extracurriculars, and homework routines. Open communication between co-parents prevents misunderstandings and ensures the child‘s needs are at the forefront.
2. Maintain Consistency
While it’s natural for divorced parents to have different household routines, when it comes to school-related matters like homework time, bedtime, and screen time, consistency between homes helps the child feel secure.
3. Attend School Events Together
Whether it’s a school play, parent-teacher conference, or sports event, showing up together (when possible) demonstrates to your child that both parents are still very much involved and invested in their lives.
4. Create a Shared Calendar
Sharing online calendars can help parents stay informed about upcoming tests, projects, and school events. Tools like Google Calendar or specific co-parenting apps can be especially beneficial.
5. Foster Emotional Support
Recognize that returning to school after a divorce or separation can be emotionally taxing for your child. Regularly check in with them, offering emotional support and a safe space to share their feelings.
6. Access school records
In Maryland, unless restricted by a court order, parents have the right to access their children’s school records. As Maryland-licensed family law attorneys, we can help you understand your rights and responsibilities.
7. Seek External Support
Children might need an external outlet to express and process their feelings. Numerous skilled child therapists offer various therapeutic services and counseling options. Consider seeking professional guidance if you believe it might benefit your child.
8. Celebrate Achievements Together
Celebrate your child’s achievements together, from scoring well on a test to being chosen for the school play. These moments can serve as anchors of positivity amidst their adjustments.
Divorce undoubtedly brings about change, but it doesn’t mean that co-parenting can’t thrive in the new landscape. As children return to school, the collaboration between parents can be the pillar upon which children lean. Embracing the principles of co-parenting makes the transition smoother for children and reaffirms that though the family dynamic has shifted, their parent’s love for them remains unchanged.