It’s hard to believe that school is about to begin in Charlotte. The start of school also means the start of after school and weekend activities. This time of year can be particularly stressful for parents who are going through, or have recently gone through, a divorce, as the family adjusts to visitation with the kids’ new, and likely busier, schedules.
Getting a child back to school is hard enough, but if you are co-parenting with your ex for the first time it can be even harder. Here are some tips from the Huffington Post for how to make navigating back to school more comfortable for both parents and, more importantly, the child.
1) The all-important backpack – If it is the first year the child is going through a co-parenting situation they may feel like they don’t have their own space. Moving from one house to another can leave them feeling insecure. Their backpack can be the one place that is theirs. Help them customize it, and assure them no matter where they go they can have it with them and whatever they chose to keep inside. This will offer some security and consistency in a changed setting.
2) Encourage your kids to keep it simple – Your child may not know how to explain their new situation to their friends. They may not feel it’s “normal” and they may have some degree of anxiety when families are brought up. Sit down and talk to your child, encourage them to keep it simple when explaining things to their friends and that it’s okay that they live with mom some days and dad others.
3) Be involved with homework – Helping your children with homework is a great opportunity for a parent. It can help you bond, and give you an opportunity to teach lessons beyond spelling. Even if you are the non-custodial parent try to see if there’s a way to stay involved in your children’s schoolwork and ask them if there is anything you can help them with when you are able.
4) Communicate directly with your ex – Do not use your child as a messenger to your former spouse. Not only can kids forget important details that may not be of interest to them, but it also puts them in an odd situation. E-mail can be a great medium for this, it avoids awkward phone calls, gives you time to edit yourself and provides a written record that no one can later claim that they didn’t know.
5) Don’t turn your child’s world into a battleground – Don’t have hand-offs at school if you know you are prone to get into a fight with your ex. Avoid making school functions stressful and uncomfortable for the child if they want both parents there. Reassuring your child that they can still have both parents involved and sticking to your word by not creating an uncomfortable atmosphere will go a long way to easing your child’s worries.
If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce in Charlotte, contact an experienced divorce law firm in Charlotte, North Carolina like Arnold & Smith, PLLC who can help guide you through the sometimes confusing process.
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