The beginning of the school year can be a hectic time for any parent. However, the return to school can be an especially stressful time for divorced parents who have to balance their child’s busy schedule between two households. The following are back-to-school tips to create a smoother transition.
Plan ahead for the upcoming year- The school year is a busy time for both kids and parents. Often times divorced parents are tempted to plan their child’s schedule for the school year independent of their former spouse. However, this can lead to needless misunderstanding between parents and children. Parents can ease their children through the challenges of balancing two separate homes by sitting down together and creating a month-to-month schedule for the entire school year
Maintain communication with the school- It is important for both parents to stay equally engaged in their child’s school life. Even if one parent was more involved with school affairs prior to the divorce, it is important that each parent is added to school mailing lists and attends parent-teacher meetings to monitor their child’s progress. One suggestion is to make “homework time” a ritual at both homes so that both parents have an opportunity to help their child with homework.
Engage in direct communication with your former spouse- Throughout the school year, it is essential to keep your ex-spouse up to date with schedule changes and upcoming plans. Lack of direct communication between parents can unintentionally put children in the middle of conflict. An effective way to directly communicate with your spouse is through email. Communication via email creates documentation of communication between parents that can reduce the potential for future conflict and confusion.