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Back to School: Shared Parenting Plan Challenges

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Back to School: Shared Parenting Plan Challenges

Back to School: Shared Parenting Plan Challenges by Melissa Burns

{3:18 minutes to read} As summer draws to a close, many parents are eager for their children to start school. While the largely unstructured summer schedule may be welcomed at first, it can be challenging for parents, especially those who work outside of their homes, to fill all of those days with activities for their children.

When school resumes, so do the hectic and sometimes conflicting schedules that come with extracurricular activities.

  • Ava has soccer practice every Wednesday.
  • James has band practice on Thursdays.
  • Zoe has gymnastics class on Mondays.

For parents who are raising their children from different households, back to school can be particularly challenging. Having two sets of clothing and gear is not usually feasible (two clarinets or two pairs of soccer cleats could get expensive quickly), but it may be difficult for children to carry everything they will need with them every day. This is where some creativity and organization can be very helpful, and parents who work together can streamline their children’s school week.

Here are some great ways that parents I know work together to co-parent when life gets busy.

  • Create an online calendar that both parents have access to and can update. This keeps everyone in the loop about parent-teacher conferences, sporting events and other important dates. If children are old enough, give them access as well so they can see what is going on.
  • If you can, have a place at each home where either parent can access sports equipment, clothing/uniforms, and other things for after school and evenings.

I have heard of people using plastic bins on the sides of their houses, garages, or backyard sheds as places to store things for their children. Then, the parent who doesn’t live there can stop by and pick up things for the children without needing access to the residence. This system works particularly well for parents whose schedules do not overlap, because they do not need to coordinate a time to meet.

  • Be as flexible as possible. Children’s schedules can get busy, and a parenting schedule that worked all summer may need tweaking when the school year begins again. It may make sense for each parent to pick up a different child on certain days, bringing them to whichever home they are sleeping in that night.

Coordinating children’s schedules can be challenging for parents regardless of whether or not they are living together. With some planning, organization, and maybe some flexibility, families can streamline the start of the school year and make the transition from summer to fall easier on everyone.

How do you keep track of schedules when school starts?

Melissa Burns

16 Pearl St., Suite 201
Glens Falls, NY 12801
Phone: (518) 529-5200

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2017-01-30T11:33:42+00:00 By |Children & Divorce, Life After Divorce|

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