This month many of our clients and their families will share in the experience of changing their schedules to accommodate back to school season. While heading back to school poses significant changes for most families, single-parent households may be hit even harder. Divorced parents may find more stress from having to work with former partners to agree on children’s extracurricular schedules and decide who covers what expenses. As such, below are a few tips for divorced parents to survive this back to school season.
Find a Routine that Works for You and Stick to It
This directive works for managing your child’s homework schedule, social schedule, and bed time. It also pertains to coordinating a schedule that works for you and your former partner concerning child pick up, drop off and transportation schedules, and other issues that may arise.
Make Contact with Your Child’s School
Before the school year progresses, discuss with your former partner his or her expectations regarding communication with your child’s school. If you and your former partner both want to be notified of important events, announcement or disciplinary events, communicate to the school secretary that you would like to order duplicate notifications. It is helpful to make such requests early in the year before school administration to-do lists begin to pile up. Also, review school paperwork on your family to ensure both you and your former partner are listed as contacts in the event of an emergency.
Discuss Back to School Expenses
Typically, custodial parents (parents with physical custody of the child) foot the bill for back to school shopping. If your family would like to work out a different arrangement, it is helpful to communicate this early and up-front.
Keep Open Communication with Your Child
Do not be afraid to ask your child how his or her day went or what their goals are for the next semester. Also, some families find that routines are easier to stick to when the child can have input on what a weekday should look like and provide feedback for changing a schedule that is not working.
For Children of Recent Divorces, Give Your Child a Place to Vent
It may not come as a surprise that divorce can be stressful for children, and children deal with the stress of divorce differently than adults. If you see your child is not adjusting to the new two-household routine or is becoming sullen and withdrawn, it may be helpful to give your child an outlet in which he or she can vent. Whether you provide more social time with friends, an online support forum for divorced children or professional counseling, allowing your child to voice his or her feelings about the new schedule can do wonders for processing the divorce at a speed that is comfortable. Review this article for more tips on transitioning to a school schedule for divorced parents.
At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. we work with families to make the legal divorce process go as smoothly and effectively as possible. For more information on our services, contact our office at (877) 889-4515 to set up a consultation with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney today.