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How-to Juggle Co-parenting and Back-to-School Stress

Preparing for the new school year can be a busy and stressful time. There are so many things to get taken care of before the school year starts. This can be even more complicated if you are having to juggle co-parenting and back-to-school as well. There are some steps that can make this transition smoother.

How-to Juggle Co-parenting and Back-to-School: Smooth Transitions

Shopping

The start of a school year can bring a lot of extra expenses for families. For example, kids will need new clothes, supplies for school, and electronic devices. Neither parent should have to pay for all of the items on their own. This should one of the things you discuss when working through co-parenting and back-to-school things.

Be sure to coordinate who will purchase what, so that it will eliminate unnecessary duplicates. Also, this will help to ensure that your child has everything they need. Be prepared for disagreements about brands, price points, and values. Try to find a common ground wherever possible.

Build a Schedule

During the school year, children need a schedule and consistency. Make sure your children know where they are staying each night. Also, make sure that your children know who will be dropping them off or picking them up. Try to keep this schedule consistent so that your children have structure.

A great tip is to create a digital calendar to share with your ex. This will back co-parenting and back-to-school preparations much smoother. For example, you can put sporting events, school holidays, extracurricular activities, and appointments on the calendar. This will help to eliminate confusion or miscommunications.

Information

Be sure that the school has contact information for both parents. This will help to ensure that both parents get communication from the school, including report cards, handouts, and behavioral updates. This will allow for better communication between parents, children, and the school while navigating co-parenting and back-to-school.

Be Involved

Each parent should try and be as involved as possible in their children’s lives. This is something to really focus on while getting into the co-parenting and back-to-school routines. However, this can be difficult to make time for while juggling work and other living things. Carve out some time to spend time asking them about their day and sit down to help them with their schoolwork. This will show them that you care about them and their success.

In the same way, be sure to attend events at school. A great way to be supportive would be to even show up to events that your ex is at. Examples include school performances, graduations, and functions. You do not have to engage with the other parent if you do not feel comfortable doing so. Just remember that you are there to support your child.

The First Week of Joint Custody

The first week of joint custody can be a big change in your life. It can often cause a lot of stress for you, your ex, and your children. However, no matter how different it feels, you will get used to the new schedule eventually. Children are incredibly resilient and will bounce back quickly as well. Talk to your children ahead of time so that they know what the plan is. Keep their schedules as consistent as possible to their old schedule and between you and your ex’s homes. Keep your cool with your ex and try to put your co-parenting relationship first. And finally, expect issues the first week. This is a big adjustment and takes some getting used to. The more flexible you can be, the better. You’ll adjust and get used to your new normal quickly.

The First Week of Joint Custody: Getting Used to the New Normal

Talk to Your Children

The first week of joint custody might be a big upheaval for your children. Therefore, it’s important to prepare them ahead of time. Talk to them about what their schedule will look like for the week. Especially if they’ll be spending a few nights at a new house with your partner. Listen to their concerns and reassure them. For example, make sure that they know how much you love them. And also reassure them that they will adjust to their new schedule quickly.

Keep Schedules the Same

The first week of joint custody is much easier if you can keep some consistency in your children’s schedule. Children thrive on repetition and schedule. Try to keep their schedule as similar to normal as possible. There will be some times when you’ll need to adjust, but try to keep things as close as possible. Also, try to make sure that you and your ex are keeping consistent schedules across your two homes. For example, similar nap times, wake times, and mealtimes.

Keep Your Cool

It’s important to keep your cool with your ex during the first week of joint custody. You will need to work together with them for the rest of your lives, so now’s a great time to start. Be understanding if they need to make changes to the schedule. Hopefully, in return, they’ll be flexible with you if you need to make changes. Never bad-mouth them on social media or with your friends. And of course, never bad-mouth them in front of your children.

Expect Mishaps

During the first week of joint custody, you should plan to have some mishaps. This is a big adjustment and it likely won’t go perfectly smoothly the first week. The more you prepare for things to go wrong, the less stress it will cause. Try to stay as flexible as possible and anticipate some missteps along the way. You’ll work out the kinks soon enough.

The first week of joint custody is a big change in your life and your children’s lives. It can be a scary time for you and them. So try to remember that the stress you feel over the change will be gone soon. You’ll quickly adjust to your new normal. Likewise, your children will adjust quickly to their new schedules. Try to prepare them ahead of time and listen to their concerns. Keep consistency in their schedules as much as is possible. Play nicely with your ex and remember to put your co-parenting relationship first. And of course, try to stay flexible when the inevitable snags happen during the first week. This is a big adjustment for everybody, so there will likely be a few missteps here and there. But everybody will adjust quickly and you’ll be able to begin your new life post-divorce.

Vacations with Split Custody During the Summer

Summertime can bring the stress of figuring out vacations with split custody if you’ve recently been through a divorce. Split custody can be easy to figure out during the school year, but when summer hits, things can get more complicated. It’s important to set rules and expectations about summer vacation plans in your parenting plan in advance. In addition, make sure and set boundaries about what you’re comfortable with. Be flexible and try to be as accommodating as possible. And finally, stay in communication while your children are traveling. Hopefully, you’ll be able to work out an easy agreement where both you and your ex can enjoy some awesome summer vacation time with your children.

Vacations with Split Custody During the Summer: Enjoy Your Holidays

Lay it Out in Parenting Plan

One way to handle vacations with split custody is to lay them out in your broad parenting plan. When you sit down together to divvy up your custody arrangement, you can specify how many days you each get of vacation. For example, you can have language saying that you each get to take a ten-day vacation with the children each summer. Work it out however it fits best with your family’s needs.

Set Boundaries

Another important thing to do when dealing with vacations with split custody is to set boundaries. Make sure that you and your ex are on the same page as each other about where you each are allowed to take the children. Is it ok to leave the country? Or would you rather both stay within driving distance? In addition, set boundaries regarding who can join on the vacation. Can the kids bring a friend? If you are dating somebody, should they join? It’s best to lay all of this out ahead of time so that there isn’t drama or confusion when the time comes to plan trips.

Be Flexible

One thing that can be very helpful when figuring out vacations with split custody is to be flexible. It might sound difficult, especially if your divorce is contentious. However, the more reasonable you are, the more reasonable your partner will be when it’s you asking for extra vacation time. Remember that the key to good co-parenting is to try and be flexible and work together. Also, stop and consider what is best for your kids. You might not want to give up extra time with them. However, if it means cutting a trip short, it might be in their best interest to give up some of your time.

Stay In Communication

Finally, another thing to do when dealing with vacations with split custody is to stay in touch. While you are traveling and when your ex is traveling, have a policy of constant communication with the other parent. You’ll want to make sure that the children are safe. And that you and your ex are on the same page as far as boundaries go. Staying in constant contact will prevent one parent from being calm about things than the other.

Dealing with vacations with split custody can be stress-inducing. The key to preventing arguments is to lay out everything ahead of time. Your parenting plan should have language about vacations spelled out clearly. In addition, make sure that you’ve set clear-cut boundaries with your plan as well. That way you can prevent last-minute questions from coming up. Try to be flexible and accommodating whenever possible. Remember that if you are, it’s more likely that your ex will be too. And finally, stay in communication while vacationing to make sure that you and your ex are on the same page. Hopefully, you’ll be able to figure out vacation plans without any drama and find a summer schedule that works for everybody.

Writing a Parenting Plan: Smooth Transitions

Writing a parenting plan is very important when figuring out how your joint custody situation will work. It’s important to include things like your basic schedule. In addition, make sure to include things like holidays and vacations. Times when the schedule will be interrupted. You’ll also lay out a plan for expenses and how to pay for childcare. And finally, include how you’ll make big decisions. Consider things like what religion your children will be brought up in, curfew, diet, healthcare, school decisions, etc. You’ll need a plan in place so that you and your partner are on the same page with all major parenting decisions. Having a parenting plan in place will make your divorce much smoother and will help your children adjust to their new lives.

Writing a Parenting Plan: What to Include in Your Discussions

Schedule

One thing that’s important to include when writing a parenting plan is a basic schedule. This should involve how many days each parent has the children in a row, and what the schedule looks like. Include things like when and where you’ll transfer kids from one parent to another. Oftentimes, families use school as a way of transferring kids. For example, one parent drops them off and another picks them up. Remember that your plan can change as your children age.

Holidays and Vacations

In addition to the regular custody schedule, you should consider holidays and vacations when writing a parenting plan. These are times when the normal schedule might get interrupted. Decide how you’ll handle major holidays. Some parents choose to split them up throughout the year or switch years when each parent has the kids. Remember that when you go on vacation, you might need extra days. Don’t forget holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day where you will most likely want to spend time with your children.

Expenses

Next, when writing a parenting plan, make sure to include a financial plan. You and your ex should decide on how you’ll be paying for childcare expenses. Include things like daycare, school supplies, and saving for college. You should include how you’ll handle any unexpected expenses that come up. For example, large medical bills. Try to factor in everyday expenses as well as larger expenses. Even though you don’t have to buy new sizes of clothes every day, the cost can still add up once or twice a year.

Important Decisions

Finally, one last thing to include when writing a parenting plan is how you’ll handle big decisions. You may want to go ahead and lay some ground rules as far as what your children’s futures will look like. Consider things like what religion you want to raise them in. What schools would you like them to attend? How will you each discipline and set boundaries for them? Don’t forget about things like curfew, diet, activities, and hobbies, and seeing friends and family.

Writing a parenting plan is important for figuring out how your life will look post-divorce. Make sure and include a basic schedule for custody as well as specifics for holidays and vacations. Include a financial plan for how you and your ex will pay for child-related expenses moving forward. And don’t forget about establishing ground rules for important decisions in the future. Creating a comprehensive parenting plan will help you in the future if any issues come up. It can also make the transition easier for your children when they go from living in one household with both parents to a split custody situation.

Choosing a Legal Guardian for Your Children

Choosing a legal guardian for your children can be a difficult decision, but it’s an important one. If you are making a will, you’ll need to designate a guardian for your kids. This is the person who will raise them if you and your spouse die. There are many things to consider when picking a guardian. You want to make sure that they have a similar lifestyle to you and will raise your children with the values that you’d like. In addition, you might consider whether they already have children. Also, take into account their financial situation and whether they can afford another child. And finally, don’t forget about their location and potentially moving your child. Knowing that you’ve chosen a legal guardian for your children can put your mind at ease.

Lifestyle

One thing to consider when choosing a legal guardian for your children is a lifestyle. While they don’t need to live exactly the way you do, your children must have some continuity. If you and your spouse intend to raise your kids in a specific religion, that’s also something to consider. All in all, the goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible for your children. And also to make sure you’ve designated somebody that will raise them the way you want them to be raised.

Other Children

Another thing to consider when choosing a legal guardian is whether or not they already have other children. If they don’t, it shouldn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker. But it helps to know that they have some experience with handling kids. In addition, consider that your child will now essentially have siblings that they live with.

Financial Situation

It’s also important to take into account the financial situation of anybody you appoint when choosing a legal guardian. You will likely leave your children some inheritance. If your children are minors, their guardians might have control over this. Make sure that you appoint somebody that you trust financially and who has the means to raise your child.

Location

Finally, when choosing a legal guardian, consider the location. Your child has grown up in a specific location surrounded by certain friends and family. They might already go to school and have friends there. Consider whether or not you’d want to uproot them and have them move to another city.

When choosing a legal guardian, there can be a lot to take into consideration. It’s important to weigh your options carefully because this is the person who will raise your kids in the event of your death. Make sure that it’s somebody you trust to instill the values that you’d like to raise your children with. In addition, consider if they have experience with kids and how many siblings your child will now be living with. Don’t forget that financial means are important too. And finally, consider where they live and if you are comfortable moving your child to a different city. Hopefully, you’ll be able to choose somebody that you trust wholeheartedly with the most important job in the world.

How You Can Help Foster Parents In Your Area

If you’re wondering how you can help foster parents in your area, there are many various ways to get involved. You don’t necessarily have to become a foster parent yourself. There are ways to be involved from afar. The best thing to do is to educate yourself on how the system works and what families in your area are needing at the moment. Another thing you can do is advocate for foster care and educate others on what it means. You can opt to support a family you know or find a local family. And finally, of course, you can donate to families in need. You can either donate money to local programs or donate goods to families needing things like diapers, clothes, and groceries. Hopefully, you can find a way to be involved that will help your community in a big way.

How You Can Help Foster Parents In Your Area: From Near or Far

Educate Yourself

The first thing to do if you want to help foster parents in your area is to educate yourself. There is so much to know about the foster care system. And many states work differently than others so it’s not one-size-fits-all. However, there is a lot of incorrect information out there about how fostering works. By learning more about how the program works, you can figure out the ways that you can help where it’s needed most.

Advocate

Another thing you can do if you want to help foster parents in your area is to advocate for them. Listen to what parents say they need from the system. They might also suggest changes that would be helpful. Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems with the system. And even more, unfortunately, children who inevitably fall through the cracks. The only way to fix anything is to get enough people to care about it enough to force change from higher up.

Support a Family

A more direct way that you can help if you want to help foster parents in your area is to support a few families. This might mean contributing financially or dedicating time to them. Often it’s the day-to-day things causing stress to foster parents. Things like forgetting to mow the lawn, needing to find time to grab groceries, or needing to coordinate transportation to and from activities. Volunteer to take something off a family’s plate. You can even train to become a respite caregiver, or babysitter to give the parents a break.

Donate

Finally, and probably obviously, if you want to help foster parents in your area, you can donate. Donating money to a local foster care program or family is a direct way to help them support their children. You can also donate items that are in high demand. For example, diapers, clothing, bedding, groceries, or toys. One thing that many foster children appreciate is a suitcase to keep their belongings in, as often they don’t even own one. If you don’t have the financial means to donate, you can always donate your time and volunteer with a local program.

There are many ways you can contribute if you want to help foster parents in your area. But the most important thing is to make sure that you listen to what they say they need. Educate yourself on how the fostering system works in your state. Help advocate for the types of change that parents say they need. You can also support a specific family or families near you by helping them with day-to-day chores or respite care. And finally, you can always donate money, helpful items, or time. There are many ways to volunteer with local foster programs, so just do a quick search in your area. Any bit of help that you can provide goes such a long way in improving the lives of the children and parents involved in foster care.