As you and your children are settling into the routine of the new school year, you might begin to experience some frustrations. Deadlines need to be met academically and recreationally, and adjustments in visitation schedules necessitate increased communications between exes.
Here are some tips to help you and your family maximize your joy and harmony in this school year.
- Assess each child’s academic ability with sensitivity. While it is nice to have children who are great students, it is more important to encourage your children to do their best and be proud of the work produced. It is in the children’s best interest to get the same message from the biological parents, as well as from the stepparents. The consistency of the message will make clear the expectations adults have of their children’s behavior.
- If visitation schedules were different over the summer than during the school year, allow for a couple of weeks of emotional transition time. Gradually reintroduce your child to your home rules, expectations, and routines.
- Custodial parents, please, do not overschedule your children with extra-curricular activities that might infringe on the their time with the other parent. Your children need to be proactively parented by both parents.
- Remember to continue to act on what’s in the best interest of your children.
If you are still not sure how to go about it, please consult with a therapist, or you may contact me in whatever way is most comfortable for you.
When things are estranged and difficult, its hard to obtain information and be able to be involved in your childs' life. If the child is your concern these things will help you stay involved in the childs' life and be able to make an effort to actually be involved when everything else seems to point to you staying out of their life.
In a Joint Custody or at-least a Joint Legal Custody standing I suggest:
We use the school's councilor as a way to allow the child to talk about the turmoil (or not) going on and will help the child find a "balance" person to help grow positive ways to handle situations. This could also help if the custodial parent is trying everything possible to undermine your abilities to parent or be involved.
Attending Open House or other events and acknowledging your interest with the child to the teacher early will help stabilize your involvement. Don't wait on the custodial parent, most of the time they will NOT inform you of anything.
Continuing correspondence with the teachers as much as possible, but not overdoing it. (most have an email available to have weekly correspondence)
Give the teacher self addressed envelops with stamps. This will show the teacher that you are willing to put forth the extra effort they are as well.