7 Back-to-School Tips for Newly Divorce Parents
Putting your children first is essential to reducing their stress and helping them start the new school year on the right foot. To help you get on track with a fresh perspective, we recommend these seven back to school tips for newly divorced parents:
- Encourage your child to express their concerns and feelings. Listen to their worries and ask open-ended questions to encourage them to share more. Just as important is to keep your former spouse in the loop about these expressed feelings as well as information about school, activities, teachers, and more. Begin to build back good communication and healthy dialogue.
- Set up and update a shared family calendar to keep track of homework and project deadlines, school photo days, sports practices and events, and doctor appointments. Keep your child’s best interest at the forefront and be the healthy and positive role model for managing relationships, even when difficult.
- Consider delivering your child together on the first day so they do not feel pulled one way or the other. This will demonstrate to your child that they are important to you and that you are both always there for them. It clearly illustrates “we are in this together and support you.” This is a big stress reliever for kids.
- The backpack travels with the child and insure there are school supplies at both households to manage homework and projects. Review homework journal upon pick up and work with child to complete work in a timely fashion. Communicate with the co-parent an update on status to reduce the stress on your child during the school week and transfer of homes on their rotation.
- Consider attending parent-teacher conferences together to make it easier on the teacher and to demonstrate to the teacher that everyone is on the same page and team relative to the well being of your child.
- Exchange pictures, projects, artwork with the other co-parent. It is important your child gets to share their schoolwork and school life with both parents and grandparents. Taking the first step to share shows your child you care about them more than punishing the co-parent by withholding their achievements from the other parent.
- Create a routine that your child can rely on. It is very important to delegate the child’s delivery to school and pick up after school. Establish who gets called if your child is sick, who will meet them at the bus stop, etc. Pre-planning and communicating this with your child will reduce their stress and worries and create stability for them at school.
School may become your child’s “safe space” while they adjust to their new lives with co-parents in different households. Consistency of your efforts matter, and keeping a positive attitude with your eyes on your child will provide a happy, healthy, and safe environment for them daily. Allow your child to feel safe to explore, socialize and concentrate at school amid this transition for your family.