Back to School Parenting Tips for Divorced Families
School is back in session for many students across the U.S. At this time of year, every family plans for schedule changes in addition to impending homework, after-school activities, sports, and autumn social gatherings. However, families of divorce have to take some special considerations in mind to transition smoothly into September and beyond.
Get Schedules Nailed Down
During the summer, schedules often fall by the wayside, especially if kids have spent their days and nights enjoying vacations and visits with friends. When they go back to school, they need to return to a more expected rhythm. Therefore, divorced parents should figure out all the logistics for back to school. This can include everything from getting children to the bus in the morning to picking them up from evening sports practice or music lessons.
Consider the Best Interests of the Children
Parents should treat school as the most important priority. With that in mind, having a child switch parent houses in the middle of the week might not be as feasible during the school year. Although it can be tough for moms and dads to wait to see their children for a few days, it could make more sense from a practical standpoint. If necessary, parents may want to negotiate this aspect of the children’s lives through their divorce lawyers.
Figure Out Who Pays for Activities
Newly divorced parents may not have determined exactly who pays for their children’s extracurricular activities. But they need to figure out how much each parent can and will contribute. The last thing a child wants to learn is that they cannot participate in a beloved activity because their parents cannot agree on who is paying the bill.
Set Ground Rules for Studying and Socializing
Children are notorious for playing parents against each other, even in situations where the parents are living under the same roof. Consequently, parents need to have consistent ground rules that work at both houses. These should include the allowed use of devices, when homework needs to be finished, and how often friends can spend the night. Children who have constant parameters perform better educationally and experience far less stress than those who are never sure about their expectations.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Even if parents are involved in a bitter divorce, they should consider the needs of their children above all else. Accordingly, they need to find ways to talk to one another about grades, teachers, back to school nights, and other realities of school times. Not only will having regular conversations help them learn to move forward with their own lives, but it is good for the children’s well-being. Again, divorce lawyers can be a buffer for parents enmeshed in particularly acrimonious divorce proceedings.
Tell Teachers What Is Happening
If the divorce or separation happened over the summer, parents should alert their children’s teachers in the fall. The more that educators know what is happening at home, the more they can help. Additionally, teachers may have suggestions for parents and kids based on their past experience with other divorced families.
Bring Kids Into the Loop
Parents need to make sure their kids have voices, particularly if the children are preteens or teenagers. The more the youngsters feel a part of the decisions affecting them, the easier it will be for them to adjust. If necessary, therapists can provide assistance if the children are having difficulty with their new situations and schedules.
Bucks County Divorce Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Provide Compassionate Representation for Clients Dealing With Co-Parenting Issues
Getting a divorce changes your day-to-day experiences. Yet it does not take away your ability to successfully parent your children. Let the Bucks County divorce lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. help you navigate your divorce and transition your changing family seamlessly back to school. Call our Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, or Pinehurst, North Carolina offices by calling 888-999-1962 or completing an online form.