Back-to-School Advice for Divorced Parents
If you are a parent who has recently separated or divorced your spouse, you may be unsure of how to navigate the new school year now that you are not with your child’s other parent. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to make the school year go more smoothly and help your child be as successful as possible.
Have a Team Mentality
Recently, a picture has been making the rounds on social media. It appears unremarkable at first, as it shows two women, one on either side of a small girl holding her hands while walking through a school. What makes the picture special is that one of the women is the girl’s biological mother and the other is the father’s new girlfriend. The two women admit that it took about a year for them to reach this level of cooperation. It is not always easy to work together with an ex or an ex’s new partner, but doing so will only benefit your child. If possible, both parents should drop their child off at school on the first day. They should also attend meetings and parent-teacher conferences together. This not only ensures that all adults are on the same page when it comes to the child’s academic life, but is also a fantastic example to the child of how to overcome differences.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Many families use an app or online calendar to keep everyone informed of deadlines, field trips, and school events. A shared calendar like Google Calendar or an app like Cozi or Our Family Wizard can be a valuable tool. This allows parents and step-parents to be aware of important dates. A large number of schools are also using email and text messages to keep parents informed. Check with your child’s teacher to make sure you are signed up for the various forms of electronic communication he or she may use.
Share Pictures With Parents Who Cannot Attend Important Events
Oftentimes, one parent is able to attend a musical program, back-to-school night, or other event and the other parent cannot. If this is the case, the parent who does attend should make an effort to take pictures or video and share with the other adults in the child’s life. Snapping a few pictures and texting them to your ex is a gesture of kindness that only takes a few moments but will be greatly appreciated. Social media is also a good avenue to with which to share memories.
Keep Your Child’s Teacher in the Loop
Most teachers have had quite a few experiences working with blended families. Let your child’s school know who is in your family tree so teachers will know who may be dropping off or picking up your child. Also, keep your child’s teacher informed when big family changes are happening. If you and your spouse divorce, or one parent remarries for example, this can be difficult and stressful for the children involved. Teachers who are abreast of the family situation are in a better position to help children be happy and successful.
We Can Help
Parenting is never easy, but it can be even more challenging for those who have gone through a divorce. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney at MKFM Law to discuss your situation with a member of our team today. We will work with you in creating the best possible situation for yourself and your children.