Back-to-School Tips for Divorced Parents

Some of my divorce mediation clients have questions about navigating back-to-school with their new co-parent status.  There are several ways to ease not only the divorce transition, but the back-to-school transition as you move forward as partners in parenthood.  Here are some ideas that may help a little:

  • Open Communication:  It seems obvious, but easier said than done.  Try to commit to keeping each other in the loop on all school-related communication and forward any school emails you each receive to the other.  Try to make sure both of you are signed up for teacher emails, school notices, parent-teacher association blasts, and any Facebook or Instagram parent groups for your school and grade levels.
  • Shared Calendar:  As highlighted our previous Blog, it’s a good idea to create and keep updated as shared family calendar.  There are always new apps coming out so you can find one that works best for your family.  Here are the ones highlighted in our Calendar Apps Blog:
  • Homework Parenting Styles:  Just as most couples’ parenting styles differ, approaches to homework and school projects differ.  So, try to come up with a similar plan for when the kids are with each of you, so they don’t have a lax schedule at one home and a rigid schedule at the other.  Being on the same page as parents on school expectations will go a long way in helping your kids with their transition to separate homes.
  • Jointly Attend School Events:  Whether it’s parent-teacher conferences, performances, or school events, if you can try to attend these events together, you’re setting the stage for more positive school experiences for your kids as well as showing teachers that you are a team when it comes to your kids academic and social school life.
  • Text Each Other Photos:  If you have photos of school activities, after-school sports/lessons or even just cute outfits the kids are wearing that day, exchanging them with each other can help with your parenting partnership, especially if one parent has to miss an activity.

If communication is more challenging after divorce, you can also consider family counseling.  Mediation may also be appropriate if you want to address challenges with your parenting plan or modify your plan or financials.  The more processes you can put in place to assist with open communication and a team or partner approach to parenting after divorce, can help everyone in the family move forward healthier and even more peacefully.