Necessary Communication When Your Children Return to School
The new school year will soon be starting and you want to make sure that you are prepared. School clothes and school supplies can add up to be a major expense. These extra items are not generally covered by child support. Make sure you talk to your ex or soon to be ex and have a clear plan of what it is going to cost and who will pay. You will find a lot of frustration if you go out and spend a bunch of money and then find that your ex won’t pay half of the expenses. My suggestion is that the parent who normally doesn’t buy the children the school items should go shopping with the children if possible. This allows the parent to truly see the costs of the items. Another idea might be to divide and conquer. Set up a budget and have each parent do a part of the shopping. It is helpful to have the children do chores and help pay for some of the costs, too. They will tend to take better care of their clothes and supplies if they had to financially chip in for the school items.
Make sure that both Mom and Dad meet the new teacher and tour the school. It is heart wrenching to see children looking for their parent in the audience at a school function and the parent not being there because they did not realize the event was occurring. If one parent is not as organized as the other, give that parent a schedule. Make it easy for the parent to come to school and support your child. Everyone wins in this situation. Most parents are co parenting so it is important to have similar rules at both homes. What is the bedtime on school nights? Who packs school lunches and are they healthy? What is the homework policy at both homes? It really helps if the rules are the same at both houses because children need consistency and this allows them no room to slack off. If a science project is due, which parent is helping? Who is buying supplies for the project? The key is communication. Even though you might despise your ex, they are the parent of your child and you need to work together so your child has success in school. It would be helpful to do a monthly calendar so children know which house they will be at and what the activities are scheduled for the month. Give everyone a copy so there are no communication breakdowns.
If your child is having some emotional difficulties because of the break up please let the school counselor know the situation. The schools have groups that address kids dealing with divorce and separation and it can really help your child to know that other kids are going through a similar experience. Even if your child seems okay on the outside, they may be hiding their pain and it doesn’t hurt to alert the counselor of the situation at home.
Get your kids off to a winning start by cooperating with your ex to make this the best school year ever.