For Texas couples dedicated to being good parents (divorced or not), handling back-to-school (BTS) issues need not be a problem when co-parenting. The secret, experts agree, is to communicate, coordinate, and cooperate.
4 — There's An App For That
Keeping both parents on the same page with schedules, conferences, shopping and finances is easier when you and your ex-spouse use one of the many applications available for Android and iPhone devices. Consider these smoother-outers for BTS challenges:
- Our Family Wizard — You can track expenses, share calendars, send and receive secure messages, post files (including documents and photographs), and keep communication lines open with this all-in-one app
- Coparently — You and your ex are co-parenting and killin' it, so what could be more helpful than an app specifically tailored to co-parenting? This features a custody calendar, expense sharing, and contacts listings, all with bank-grade security
3 — Share Shopping
Co-parenting means neither parent is the daily drudge or the free spending favorite. Share responsibility for BTS shopping, and for co-parenting more than one child, rotate assignments each year:
- You handle Kindergarten Katy this year and your spouse gets First Grade Katy next year
- Your spouse deals with Teen Angst Andy this year and you suffer with her next year
Talk to each other to agree on general limits, avoid indulging any child, and pay attention to teacher supply lists. That cool gadget or totally awesome book bag could be a pricey mistake that does not make the grade.
Use apps to log shopping receipts so both of you know how much has gone into the costs of BTS shopping. Notebooks, pencils, glue, laptops — it adds up fast. This year, too, scarcity due to the COVID-19 pandemic may make BTS shopping even more difficult. The app can allow you both to double your chances of landing the right supplies.
2 — Stay on Task
Teachers want your kids to stay on task in the classroom, and it's no easy feat. Neither is staying focused on BTS issues when nagging doubts about other things keep intruding:
Try, try, try to keep to the subject any time you and your ex are working through BTS dilemmas. The little sniping remarks about a late child support payment or a late transfer for parenting time accomplish nothing. They also slow down all the BTS chores.
1 — Walk the Walk
Sadly, some divorced parents are more about the show than the substance. If you really want to co-parent, the job goes from the first day of school to the last.
Be available for homework help, project construction, play rehearsal, tutu fittings, sports physicals, and all that goes into a well-rounded, fun school year.
If you thought the BTS shopping was hard, wait until you have to work out with your ex who will see Katy in her school play and who will pick up Andy from lacrosse practice on the same night. Be ready for that Sunday evening “I have a science model due tomorrow” crisis by keeping craft supplies at both parents' homes.
And never, ever tell your child to wait until the other parent is available to help with mathematics, English, Social Studies, or any subject. You don't have to be a certified teacher to show your child you, too, value education.
Sit down, study the topic yourself, and then jump in and help. And don't worry if you did it wrong; children learn by mistakes, and so do adults.
At The Page Law Firm, we are prepared to help you navigate back to school jitters, co-parenting conflicts, and life after divorce. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Frisco, Texas, bankruptcy lawyer. Or, if you prefer, you may call us at (214) 618-2101.