It’s the most wonderful time of the year! School is back in the swing of things, and hopefully, your kiddos are already gushing about their new teachers, friends, and activities. The start of the school year also brings a flurry of new information, responsibilities, and activities for kids and parents. For divorced or separated parents, it is especially imperative to focus on co-parenting and communication from the get-go. Here are a few helpful points to consider in order to facilitate positive co-parenting and effective communication.
- Review your parenting plan or possession order. Your divorce decree or custody order contains the nitty-gritty of each parent’s duties, rights, and responsibilities. It will specifically lay out how each parent may make decisions regarding their child’s education and how they may be involved in their schooling. A quick review of this section of your order will help alleviate any misunderstandings that can cause serious issues between parents.
- Discuss and map out the plan for school or extracurricular activities. This may also be outlined in your possession order. Some orders specify who may sign up kids for school-related or extracurricular activities and who pays for what. Set up a conference with your other parent to discuss what the child is interested in this year, what the expectations are, how far practices and games are, the fees and costs associated, and any other requirements or concerns for these activities.
- Communicate about school assignments. Most parents will both have possession of their children during the school week. Therefore, make sure that each parent reviews the child’s school assignments and any upcoming tests or quizzes so that your child is prepared. If the other parent asks a question about an assignment, exhibit a little grace in your response. Nobody is perfect, and ultimately you are helping your child succeed.
Finally, consider how you present yourself to your child’s teachers. Teachers in the present day frequently deal with divorced and blended families, and it can certainly turn into a high conflict situation when parents don’t communicate with the school and each other. Aim to be a cooperative and inclusive parent. It makes it easier for the teachers, and it provides a better school experience for your child.
Have a happy and successful school year!