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SCHOOL IS BACK – What does this mean for your child?

It’s that time of year again! Summer has come to an end, which means earlier bed times and, of course, school. A new school year can bring along a lot of changes for a child, especially if their parents just went through a separation or divorce. As if going through a separation isn’t a difficult transition on it’s own, parents are faced with a nerve-wracking challenge beginning a new school year when trying to cope with the inevitable changes the separation has brought to their child. However, developing a co-parenting technique can help ease the back to school transition adjustments to come.

Back to School Pointers for Separated Parents:

Discuss the time-sharing schedule – Begin with obtaining a copy of the school calendar, so you are aware of school holidays and events, and can avoid any surprises or conflicts with scheduling later on.
Establish a daily/weekly routine – Maintaining a predictable routine for your child to follow before and after school is very important and should be followed regardless of which parent the child is staying with. Be sure to have a clear understanding between both parents of a consistent routine for your child’s homework and dinner time, and wake up and bed times.
Ensure school records are updated – Both parents should be listed as the child’s emergency contact and have equal access to the child’s school records, such as their attendance and grades.
Communicate with each other – Although you may not be on the best of terms with the other parent, effective communication and understanding is in your child’s best interest. Not only should you communicate about your child’s schedule and routine, but you should also communicate about any issues related to your child’s work, progress and behavior in school and in any extracurricular activities. Keep in mind to never use your child as a message carrier and to hold conversations outside the presence of the child.
Communicate with school – Your separation should not be a secret kept from the school and teachers. It is important to address the necessary information the teachers and administrators, such as who will be dropping off and picking up the child and whether there are any changes in the child’s life that may be an impact academically, emotionally and socially, especially if the child should require closer monitoring.
Communicate with your child – Always enforce an open line of communication between you and your child, and encourage discussing any problems, as well as achievements, related to school or any of their extracurricular activities. Encouraging your child to always feel welcomed to talk to you, especially through the separation process, is invaluable.

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