Many parents focus an enormous amount of time and effort on helping their children succeed in school, and this shouldn’t change because of divorce or separation. Effective co-parenting will require parents to collaborate and communicate on school issues and homework so that their child’s educational needs are put first.
Here are two important ways divorced or separated parents can work together to set their child up for success in school.
1. Stay Consistent With Schoolwork by Maintaining Routines and Consequences
The older your child gets, the more critical homework becomes to their success in their academic life. It is important that both parents maintain a consistent schedule and attitude about schoolwork. To facilitate this, communication and consistent expectations between parents are key.
Parents must keep a line of communication open for how homework is handled at each household and do their best to set the same rules, timeframes, or routines for their child. Parents may want to agree on a time that will be devoted to schoolwork and work together to uphold consequences for failure to abide by rules or complete schoolwork. Parents should also ensure consistent communication about time-consuming projects or assignments so that one parent’s time with the child is not all homework, while the other parent’s time is all leisure.
2. Be Equally Involved With the School and Teachers
Both parents should try to stay involved with their child’s school and their school teachers without being overbearing. As parents are going through divorce or separation, they shouldn’t hesitate to coordinate with the school and teachers to take active steps to support their child’s emotional and social needs, as well as their academic performance. Teachers, counselors, and school administrators have experience with children in a variety of situations and may have suggestions to help parents navigate the challenges of co-parenting as it relates to maintaining consistency in attitudes and boundaries around schoolwork.
In addition, both parents should keep each other involved when it comes to academic planning and decision making. From flyers, permission slips, school notices, announcements, assignment lists, and disciplinary action, parents should not expect the school to coordinate with them separately and must shoulder the responsibility of sharing information themselves.
Over time, you will find a system that works for you to communicate and organize the documents that must be shared between parents. Many parents use tools like Dropbox or Google Drive, which are free tools that can be used to upload and share documents from your child’s school; you can even set automatic alerts and email reminders when new documents are added by either parent. If you’d prefer a non-electronic storage option, documents can be scanned, emailed, printed, and stored by each parent in whatever manner they prefer.
Co-parenting may not be easy, but with a little communication and collaboration, you can keep your child’s needs at heart and work together to set them up for success in school.
Do you need legal assistance for divorce or other issues related to family law?
At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our attorneys are dedicated to reaching the best possible outcome for our clients. Trinity Hundredmark heads our Domestic Relations Division. She is an experienced attorney with more than a decade of experience representing clients. For more information, or to request a virtual case evaluation, contact our law office at 1-770-467-3205.