When planning your child’s first day of school, it is important to remember that this day, like their entire school year and education, is ultimately about them. It is also helpful to remember the shared aspect of shared custody. While packing a lunch may be a one-parent activity, there are others that both parents can – and should – be involved in.
Back-to-school shopping can be a fun experience for your child, and school supplies can cost a small fortune. To share (and preserve) the wealth, split the time and costs of school shopping with your ex. For example, a couple can let one partner handle backpack shopping, and the other can help their child purchase a lunchbox. Regardless of other financial arrangements, splitting this activity is favorable because it allows both of you to visibly invest time and money into your child’s education.
The First Day of School
No matter who has custody for the day, you should both make an effort to show up on your child’s first day of school. This can be the difference between them having a bad first day and a good one. The first day of school can be nerve-wracking, and change is definitely scary. Seeing you show up together, even if only for one day, can add stability to an uncertain time and mean a lot to your little one.
If one parent cannot be there, the other can establish involvement by sending a picture. The more positivity you can add to your co-parenting relationship, the better! Some parents even have a group chat to keep all members of the family informed and involved with their children’s academic success.
Calendars and Conferences
Creating a shared Google calendar can help keep everyone in the loop. Just like on the first day of school, both parents should show up to back-to-school nights, special performances, and sports’ games.
For parent teacher conferences, both parents should also attend. These meetings can be a great opportunity to familiarize teachers with your family situation, especially if one parent has remarried. If one parent lives out-of-state or cannot make it, they should still show up via call or video chat.
While the last thing you may want to do is spend time with your ex, you owe it to your child to be the best version of yourself each and every time you interact with your former partner. Carve out time to meet with your child’s mother or father, and use it to discuss your kid’s progress in school and share important updates or touching stories. Sharing custody does not have to mean you miss half of your child’s life. This time together can make all the difference.
Asking for Help
If you still need assistance preparing for your child’s first day of school, or even developing or adjusting a parenting plan, our mediators and attorneys at Schuttler, Greenberg & Mullins, LLC can help.
You should never have to go through a disagreement with your ex alone, and handling problems in a calm, legal environment can keep your arguments from interfering with your child’s education, health, and happiness. It takes a village, after all!
Call us today at (561) 336-6082 or reach out online to set up a consultation.