Believe it or not, summer is ending and the new school year is upon us. Though back-to-school is a big transition for any family, it can be even harder when the child’s parents do not live together.
If you’re raising a child with an ex-partner, consider these tips to make the school year as successful as possible.
Communicate with your child
Kids do best when they know what to expect. Make sure your child knows the schedule ahead of time: what activities they have, who will be doing pickup and drop off, and when they will be staying with each parent. There are so many new and confusing things that come with starting a new grade; try to keep home life as predictable as possible.
Talk to each other
The best way to support your child is to work together. Make sure you’re staying in touch about how things are going, and are discussing any areas in which your child might need extra help or attention.
Keep both parents involved
During the summer, kids often get to spend more time with a non-custodial parent. Once the school year starts, contact can taper off if you’re not intentional about keeping both parents involved. Make a point to have both of you show up to games, performances and parent-teacher conferences. At least some of time, try to be present together.
Make a plan for expenses
Supplies, new clothes, activity fees and other expenses can make back-to-school feel like a constant trip to the bank. Talk ahead of time about who will be responsible for which expenses. Having a plan can help avoid disagreements and hard feelings.
Remember, you share the same goal
Sometimes, getting along with an ex-partner can feel like the hardest thing imaginable. After all, there’s a reason you broke up!
But, things will go a lot better if you remember that you have the same goal: supporting and caring for a child you both love very much.