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Back to School Tips for Divorced Parents

For divorced parents who have shared responsibilities for the children, the beginning of the school year can be a stressful time. Effective, amicable communication between divorced parents can ease children’s anxieties about going back to school after a long summer break. In Illinois divorce cases, a Dupage divorce lawyer can work out agreeable child custody arrangements for shared school responsibilities.

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back to school tips

Back to School Tips for Divorced Parents

With shared child custody and visitation, it’s important to have a back to school plan for each parent’s responsibilities, especially if children live with one parent. Putting a co-parenting plan in place through a Dupage divorce lawyer before the Illinois school year begins will make things easier for parents and children.

  • Schedule a Meeting – Schedule a parent meeting before the school year starts to discuss responsibilities for school drop-off and pick-up schedules, extra-curricular activities, school expenses, and homework assignments. Developing a shared online calendar will clarify each parent’s tasks and foster a spirit of cooperation that will reinforce positive behavior for children.
  • Inform School Officials and Teachers – When parents are divorced, it’s important to inform the children’s school and teachers of shared parental responsibilities. This information will create a more comfortable atmosphere if the school needs to reach either parent. It will also create a more relaxed environment for children who want both parents involved in their school work.
  • List Both Parents as Emergency Contacts – It’s important to list both parents as emergency contacts in school records. Both parents should also be listed on the school’s distribution lists for school notifications and report cards. If an emergency school situation arises, don’t use children to convey important information to the other parent. Parents should contact each other directly.
  • Share Concerns About a Child’s Progress – If a child is having difficulties in school, both parents have a right to know. Each parent should be informed about concerns with grades, learning disabilities, bullying, conduct or discipline problems, or any other issues that may impact a child’s progress and well-being in school. Parents should talk to teachers often about problems that arise at school.
  • Attend School Functions – As divorced parents, it’s important to attend school functions, either separately or together, if there’s an amiable relationship. Although children of divorce are innocent victims, they want to know that both parents care about their welfare and happiness. Attending school functions like back to school night, extra-curricular activities, and special events shows children that parents are concerned and interested in what they are doing at school.
  • Develop a Regular Routine – Switching from summer vacation to a regular school schedule can be stressful for children. As a parent, develop a routine that instills responsibility in children. Set the alarm clock, go through morning rituals, and get children to school on time. A regular routine will help children feel secure. Establishing a solid school routine will make the first day of school and the rest of the school year a more positive experience.

Responsible Co-Parenting

Children should not have a stressful childhood because their parents are divorced. Responsible co-parenting after a divorce is essential to establish a healthy childhood and safe environment. In Illinois divorces, a Dupage divorce lawyer can establish a workable plan for both parents. Divorced parents must communicate and raise their children together, even when it presents uncomfortable situations. Responsible co-parenting will help children to grow up with security, self-esteem, self-confidence and less anger about the divorce.

A divorce can be traumatic for children because things are changing. Children use their parents to manage their fears of the unknown, and divorce complicates those fears. In a divorce, the most powerful people in their lives, their parents, going in different directions. When children are anxious about the future, they expect that their parents will take care of things that are bothering them. They don’t have the the life experience to manage the strong feelings and changes that are happening during a divorce.

With co-parenting, moving from one household to another can be stressful for children, whether it’s once a week or every weekend. Transitions represent a major change in a child’s reality. Every reunion with one parent is also a separation with the other, and each hello is also a goodbye. In Illinois joint custody arrangements, transition time is inevitable, but a Dupage divorce lawyer can make transitions easier and less stressful with co-parenting plan.

After a divorce, it may be helpful to build a new relationship with the ex-spouse, one that is built entirely about the well-being of the children and not around either parent. Although the marriage is over, the family is not. Responsible co-parenting should be an important priority for both parents, and the first step is to put the children’s needs first.

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