What kind of emotions does this time of year bring up for you? No matter your family status, back-to-school time can be a mixed bag of feelings – celebratory, hectic, even lonely. And being a separated or divorced parent can create a whole new set of challenges. Deep breath. This does get easier, especially if you follow these tips on how to navigate this time with your kids in mind:
Keep the Communication Flowing with Your Ex
As tempting as it may be to handle things on your own, collaborating with your ex about schedules, expectations, expenses, and shared responsibilities for the upcoming school year will ultimately help everyone in the long run - especially your kids.
Follow a Consistent Routine
When in doubt, stick to your parenting plan. It’s easy to veer off the schedule and being flexible is great when it’s a two-way street that works for everyone. But sometimes too much flexibility can add to your stress instead of taking it away.
Support School Involvement
Encourage your child's participation in school activities and attend events together. Showing a united front in supporting their education can boost their confidence and success.
Remember that it comes out in the wash.
While this isn’t true with all parenting time, it should be with an alternating back-to-school schedule. Upset that you’re missing the first day of third grade? Remember, this means you’ll probably be there for the first day of fourth grade. Divorce is a marathon, not a sprint. If you can stay focused on the bigger picture, it’ll help you see that over the long haul, you’re each going to have a fair share of first days at school.