While the end of the summer craze is often a blessing for many parents, it often comes as curse, too. Those pre-first-day-of-school jitters can cause any parent to want to run for the hills. And no matter how hard you try to keep the weeks leading up to the first day back to stress-free, they rarely are.
The back-to-school stress hits divorced parents even harder—who will pick up all the school supplies? What about new outfits for the kids? How will before- and after-school plans need to adjust based on everyone’s schedules?
Your best bet is to work with your ex-spouse. The more the two of you can support one another through this annual time of transition, the better off you and your children will be when that first day actually hits.
A Few Ways to Make Going Back to School Easier
As you approach preparing for school, fall sports and shopping, we encourage you to consider the following:
- Find an easy to way to split the costs of school supplies. Some couples find that it’s just easier to split up the expense by letting one parent buy backpacks and the other buy what’s on the teachers’ lists for the classroom, for example.
- Ask the kids to help you create a shared calendar that everyone has access to. This way, everyone can add important dates and times to the schedule, and everyone can stay up-to-date on the plans. Shared calendars such as Google Calendars, Cozi or iCal work well.
- If possible, take the first day of school off to be there for your kids. If the kids are a little hesitant about the first day of school—especially if they are starting a new school—see if you can free up time to go along. Children feel more confident if both parents show up at events where their classmates also have both parents present. If for some reason only one parent can go, take photos and send them to the other parent. It will help alleviate your child’s stress of the other parent not being able to be there.
- Talk to your children’s teachers to let them know your family’s structure. Teachers and other school officials appreciate knowing family structures. It helps from a security standpoint, but it also helps in removing “the elephant in the room” for your kids.
In the End, Do What’s Best for Your Child
Co-parenting certainly has its challenges, but if you keep the best interests of your children in mind, then you’ll be able to work through things productively. And if you have questions, reach out to one of our Texas family law attorneys for advice.