Many co-parents have enacted parenting agreements that allow their children to have different schedules during the summer than they do during the school year. Unless your child custody agreement has no seasonal schedule modifications, transitioning back to the school year schedule from the summer one can be unquestionably challenging.
The most important thing that co-parents can do to manage this transition for the benefit of their children and themselves is communicate clearly and effectively. Communication is critical to ensuring that no obligations are forgotten and that any emotional responses children have resulting from transition are managed with adequate care and consideration by both parents.
Children tend to benefit greatly when parents are actively involved in their education. This involvement can be challenging for co-parents who have not figured out how to communicate effectively and civilly. If you and your co-parent struggle with this particular challenge, start communicating now before the school year begins about how you will keep track of your child’s obligations and how you will both keep each other informed about important events in your child’s educational life.
A number of excellent resources exist online and in print on how to manage communication as co-parents without undue stress. Before your child goes back to school, please consider checking some of them out and putting their advice into active practice. Great places to start may be online family calendar resources that you can sync up with your child’s school calendar. Allowing each parent access to the calendar can immediately help to ease tensions related to inadequate communication about educational events. And this suggestion is just the beginning of what you can do to improve this school year for you and your child through positive communication.
Source: Huffington Post, “Back to School: Learning to Share Is Not Just for Kids,” Nicole H. Sodoma and Penelope Hefner, August 1, 2013