Back-to-school season is stressful for all parents but it’s a little more complicated when you’re divorced. Not only can parents be stressed, but the kids can be as well. They may already be worried about changing schools, finding their way, busing, who to sit with – they certainly don’t need the added anxiety of divorcing parents mixed into the scenario. Below are a few helpful hints to streamline the process for all:
- Split the cost of back-to-school supplies.
Between backpacks, calculators, school uniforms and that extra big box of Crayola crayons, your kids’ back-to-school supplies can end up costing a small fortune. To lessen the individual burden among parents, splitting the costs or responsibility will help everyone involved.
- Create a shared Google calendar to keep everyone in the loop.
This tool is really helpful once the school year starts for all involved. No one will miss Back-to-School Night, teacher conferences or any sporting activity because everyone will know exactly what is scheduled. This is also helpful if it is shared with other relatives who like to attend the activities of their grandchildren, nieces or nephews.
- Drop the kids off together or get them on the bus on the first day of school.
The first day of school can be a scary, overwhelming experience for even the most confident child. If at all possible, try to be at the bus stop together or drop them off at school together to show them your support. If only one parent can be, take pictures to share with the other parent and relatives. Involve other extended family member as well.
- Let your kids’ teachers and coaches know who’s who in your blended family.
Your family may have gotten a lot more complicated post-divorce, especially if you or your ex remarried. Early on in the school year, fill your kids’ teachers in on who’s who in your family; that way, there’s no confusion when your child’s stepdad picks her up.
5. Set times when you and your ex can go over your kids’ progress at school.
To ensure that school work and books reports don’t fall through the cracks, make sure that you ex knows what is due and when. Let them know what tests or projects are coming up so that everyone is on the same page.
- Communicate and be civil – we all know how hard this can be while in the midst of the divorce process. Communicate schedules and homework assignments in writing so that you are both on the same page. This is very important for the well-being of your child(ren).
7. Ask your children how they feel and listen – During these changes, kids can be worried about telling their friends what’s going on. They may or may not know how to communicate their emotions. The more they want to talk, the more you both should be there to listen. Your child(ren) need to feel safe and free to talk openly.
Together, you’ve got this school year – Good Luck!