It’s back-to-school time for students everywhere. For many parents, it’s a scramble to buy supplies, restart routines and discuss classes. But if you’re divorced, it’s not as simple. You and your ex-spouse likely have different tactics. How can you work together to support your children? With a little effort, you can ensure their success.
Take a look at five tricks on how to navigate school as successful co-parents.
1. Be Transparent With Expectations
There’s always a rush to understand your kids’ schedules. Which teachers do they have? When does sports practice start? How much will their fall field trip cost? You need to communicate your expectations with your ex-partner as soon as possible. It’s not always easy to call them to relay information, but you need to try. This way, you’ll be able to support your children during their school year.
Take half an hour to talk about your goals for your kids. You want to be level-headed as you discuss your roles as parents. You both need to commit to an honest and open approach for your children’s sake. A joint email account or shared app can help you gather school correspondence. This way, you’ll avoid communication errors that may derail your kids’ school years.
2. Keep Teachers Updated
Your kids’ teachers don’t need to know details about your situation. That said, you should let them know that you and your ex-partner are co-parents. This information will allow them and administrators to take special steps to accommodate your kids. As a result, they should be able to avoid confusion with transportation schedules and other arrangements. If your child falls ill, they’ll know who to call.
Your kids’ teachers care about their performance. In fact, 94% want parents to tell them when a life-altering event like a divorce happens. Therefore, you don’t want to hesitate to organize a meeting or send an email to share your information.
3. Work Together When It’s Possible
There will be times when you don’t want to be on each other’s side. That said, you need to let bygones be bygones. You can’t always expect your children’s teachers to relay messages to two different addresses, emails and numbers. In some cases, your kids themselves will only tell one parent information. That’s why you should set aside concerns or issues you have with one another for your children’s success.
For example, you don’t want to request separate parent-teacher conferences when you could meet together. It may feel uncomfortable, but you’ll save time — and you can become a unified front as you navigate your kids’ school years. This way, you can create a better game plan. The same teamwork should apply to serious matters like life insurance, as you’ll want to create a protected environment for your kids.
In other words, your efforts to work together in and out of school reflect directly on your children.
4. Try to Achieve Cohesion
How cohesive are your households? You may have diverse approaches to how you handle bedtime, homework and extracurriculars. These differences can negatively impact your children’s success. For instance, they’ll skip studying at your house if they’re allowed to play video games after school at your ex-partner’s. You’ll find that a cohesive approach on certain occasions makes a difference.
You won’t be able to control everything about your ex-spouse’s viewpoint. Still, you can talk about school-related rules that both households should follow. Consider a dedicated morning routine for school days to start. You should make your children’s lives generally seamless. It’s not always easy for them to transition between your homes. As a result, you want to maintain some normalcy.
5. Don’t Blame Anyone Else
Your kid’s report card comes back with a few C’s. You may feel like you need to call your ex-partner because it’s their fault, right? After all, they let your children go out until 10 p.m. — and that’s an hour later than your curfew. You need to recognize that they don’t deserve unnecessary blame. They could’ve worked with your kid for hours on homework and studying.
There are always two sides to a story. In fact, your child may have secretly stayed up late to play on their phone. That’s why they performed poorly. It’s essential not to lash out on your ex-spouse for these reasons. If they’re truly at fault, you can have a civil conversation to determine a solution. In general, you need to respect most of the choices they make for your children.
After all, you agreed to lead with transparency. This effort will keep your kids focused on a successful school year. As always, you should never bring your kids into a fight between you and your ex-spouse. Do your best to be as civil as possible so that you can continue to support your children.
Use These Tips to Navigate Your Children’s School Year as Co-Parents
You and your ex-partner can ensure your children have a productive school year. Use these tips to navigate your situation. It won’t always be easy, but you’ll succeed.