Back to School Tips for Divorced Families

Realizing how rough divorce can be on kids is one reason so many couples postpone the inevitable. At one point or another during the divorce process, any number of the 1.5 million American kids going through a household divorce may feel as though their world has come crashing down. That can add a lot of guilt to the pot and lead to a lot of unnecessary bargaining and anger. But medical studies now show kids are incredibly resilient and usually bounce back quickly after that first harsh blow. If the parents work together to build a strong and stable post-divorce family unit, their kids can avoid ongoing issues with anger, anxiety, and depression. Even getting back to school can be a relatively smooth process for divorced families when you follow these basic tips.

Start a Joint Family Calendar Online

So many events and activities occur in even single kid households that it’s essential for both parents to know exactly what’s going on for proper co-parenting to exist. Having two households makes maintaining that schedule even harder, but doing it online can help cut a good part of the struggle. Simply create the original document, upload it to your drive or cloud sharing program, and adjust or edit as necessary. Both parents can then see and access the schedule around their own at their own place of work or residence without having to meet or haggle over matters.

Update the School About the Situation

Prior to the school year, or as soon as possible afterward, contact the school with details about the family situation. Personal details won’t be needed, but the school will need to know the general dynamics, the home schedule if shared custody is in place, and the names and roles of any blended family members. Both parents should be on mailing lists for events, field trips, and upcoming activities pertinent to their kids. And any details regarding changes in medical coverage, emergency contact, or any limited or non-contact regarding a parent or other previously involved adult needs to be disclosed to the principal and teachers.

Split the Cost of School Supplies

It doesn’t matter who was in charge or habitually shopped for school supplies prior to the divorce. Once there are two separate households, the financial dynamic encourages families to work together. So get double copies of the list, circle or check off what you intend or want to buy, and have your ex do the same or agree to supply the rest. It never hurts for both sides to buy extras of the basics such as loose leaf paper, notebooks, folders, index cards, and pencils. That way, the kids are covered, homework excuses (I forgot my supplies!) won’t work, and the school prep is a breeze.

Maintain Consistent House Rules

It’s tempting to loosen previously set rules when you get less time with your kids than you used to. But that tends to be a big mistake. Most kids thrive on consistency and routine, and it’s essential for parents to maintain a united front regarding their upbringing. So homework, electronic usage, and bedtime routines should be as similar as possible between households. That way the kids remain happy and hopefully respectful to both parents. Yes, divorce can be tough on kids but they’re resilient when the above tips are followed. If you need more help, contact your Michigan divorce lawyer for further suggestions.