Back to School Tips for Divorced Dads
Whether you can hardly wait for school to start again, or the thought of sending your new Kindergartner on that bus brings a tear to your eye: facts remain, school is ramping up again. Very often the switch in routine for parents and kids alike comes with some stress and adjustments. The anxiety can be even worse for newly divorced parents: particularly dads. A newly divorced family will have to contend with a lot of new things. Your kids may now have to attend a new school, new kids, teachers, and definitely a new routine.
Newly divorced dads may balk a bit at the new role they have to undertake with their kids. You are likely co-parenting with your spouse, but there will be some new aspects to parenting that you are going to have to take on as you move forward as a single parent. The time you do have with your kids might be more limited than before, and now it will be filled with new things and new experiences. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the time surrounding the start of the school year.
- Update the School Contacts
Ensure that your child’s school has both parents’ addresses, phone numbers, and e-mails. Make sure the school is aware of any potential custody restrictions, such as a family member who is not permitted to have access to the child/pick them up.
It can be a great idea to take the effort to meet your child’s teacher. Being an active and involved parent in your child’s life will help keep them working toward their goals, and help them know that even though their world is changing, you are still there as a supportive dad.
Remember to also communicate with your kids. As a divorced dad, being present is more important than ever. The time you have with your children is finite: ensure you show up for them. You can help support your child through the start of the new year, new school, new friends, new family situation: it’s a lot of adults, let alone kids to deal with. The more you communicate with your kids, the better you can recognize and help them through any problems they might be having
- Actively Co-Parent
You and your ex might still be working through how exactly to do this co-parenting thing. It can be tough working with your ex, but for the sake of your kids and your relationship with them, it is important that you do it.
Going back to school will be a change-up in whatever routine you have going. There will be a lot of arranging to do: accounting for drop off and pick up at a new place, extra-curricular activities, babysitters, etc. Openly communicating with one another about the schedule – even sharing a joint calendar – can help you avoid arguments down the road about missed signals.
- Establish a Consistent Schedule
Everyone thrives on routine. This is particularly true of kids. Your little people have likely gone through a tumultuous time with the divorce. If you are able to establish a consistent schedule, your kids will know where they are, what is going to happen next, and won’t stress as much about unknowns. Simple things like eating dinner at the same time every night, establishing a consistent time to do homework, and establishing a regular bedtime can help kids feel more in-control of their lives. If they know who is going to pick them up from an activity, and who to expect to spend the weekend with, you can foster a sense of consistency and security.
If you find that changes need to be made to your parenting plan or custody arrangement, there are avenues to accomplish those changes. Speaking with an experienced family law attorney can help.
Contact Cardwell, Steigerwald Young
Divorce and child custody issues are never easy to deal with: even after the bulk of a divorce is completed. Oftentimes a child custody agreement needs to be revisited, or changed circumstances require further legal action. For help in your divorce or child custody issue, contact the esteemed San Francisco family lawyers at Cardwell, Steigerwald Young.