Co-Parenting Tips for Back to School Season
Back-to-school season is stressful for everyone, but it can be particularly stressful for co-parents. How will you split the expenses? Who will get the child to and from school? Where will the child go after school? These are matters you need to agree on before your child returns to school. Check out these co-parenting tips for back-to-school season, courtesy of Midwest Psychological Services.
Establish a Definitive Pickup/Dropoff Schedule
You need to have an exact pickup and dropoff schedule that everyone can abide by. This may need to change over time, but there should be some structure from the beginning. If your child rides the bus, include that in the planning. Will someone be home after school? Does the child need to ride a different bus in the morning and afternoon? Discuss these plans with the other parent, as well as any caretaker who may be involved with your child’s life.
Note: The school will most likely ask you for a list of people approved to pick up your child. List both parents, grandparents, caretakers, stepparents, or anyone else who may pick up your child. If there is anyone you do not want to pick up your child, provide that information as well.
Make School Sound Exciting and Fun
Both parents should create a pleasant atmosphere for back to school. Some children dread going back to school because that means they have more work and responsibilities. Reframe their minds by emphasizing the fun elements of going to school. They get to learn new information, see their friends, play on the playground, participate in extracurriculars, etc. The more positive you are, the less anxious your child will be.
Determine How to Split Back-to-School Expenses
School supplies and clothing can get expensive. You may want to split the costs with your child’s mother or father. For instance, one parent could buy the school uniforms while the other buys school supplies. One parent could pay for the food account while the other pays for books and school fees. How you split the bills will be based on your unique situation, including child support and other sensitive matters. Be transparent about the costs, and come to an agreement that works for both of you.
Keep Each Other Informed about School Matters
Both parents should be informed about school matters. If the child has a bad day at school, let the other parent know. If the child does well on a test, talk about that as well. Share the accomplishments and the struggles so you can work through them together as a family.
Attend Important School Events Together
The “co” in co-parent means that you may have to spend time together on occasion. You don’t have to sit next to each other or even talk during an event, but you should attend school events together to show support for your child. Sports games, plays, award ceremonies, parent-teacher conferences – make these moments a group effort. Your child will enjoy having support from his or her family, and you will both get to enjoy the special moments in your kid’s life.
For more co-parenting tips of for personalized co-parenting counseling, call Midwest Psychological Services at (715) 381-1980. Our family counselors in Wisconsin work with families from all backgrounds, and we would love to help you find a balance in your lives.