Co-Parenting and Back-to-School: Navigating Drop-Offs with Ease

by | Aug 22, 2023 | Co-parenting, Collaborative Law, Conflict Management, Mediation, Navigating Divorce, Relationships

The back-to-school season is a time of excitement and anticipation for children of all ages, but for divorced parents, it can also bring a unique set of challenges.

 

To truly become Better Apart, coordinating schedules, managing emotions, and fostering open communication become even more crucial during this period.

 

Whether you’re navigating who gets to be there the first time your kindergartner is greeted by their new all-day caretaker, or deciding who is dropping your now big “little one” off to college, this can be a challenging time of year. Here are three practical tips to help you handle drop-offs and navigate the back-to-school season successfully, with your ex or stbx regardless of your child’s age.

 

Co-Parenting and Back-to-School: Navigating Drop-Offs with Ease

 

1. Prioritize Clear Communication:

Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful co-parenting. If you’re lucky, your mediator (or lawyers) put all the details in your Separation Agreement so there’s clarity around who your child belongs with on this special day. Of course, you may decide to change the schedule to suit your needs, but if there’s a conflict your Separation Agreement will provide all the clear rules of the road.

Provide younger children with a sense of security by letting them know about the drop-off plan in advance. Let them know where they will be dropped off, who will be picking them up, and when they will see the other parent again. This will help alleviate any anxieties they might have about the transition. When it comes to your older children, while who is dropping them off may matter less, it is equally important to keep conflict low.

As is true with all things parenting, when it comes to drop-offs, clear and consistent communication is essential. If it’s not already in your Separation Agreement, set up a method for sharing information about school schedules, extracurricular activities, and any special events (emails, text messages, shared digital calendars). Remember, emails are always easier to refer back to then text chains!

 

2. Establish a Neutral Ground:

Drop-offs can be emotionally charged, especially if your relationship is strained. To create a smooth experience for everyone involved, and to minimize the potential for conflicts and ensure that the focus remains on the child’s well-being, having as many drop-offs and pick-ups at school is best.

 

3. Maintain Consistency and Flexibility:

Consistency provides stability for children during a time of change. If your Separation Agreement fails to specify the important details around pick up times, locations, people, you can find yourself in unwanted and unnecessary conflict. You can modify your Separation Agreement at any time to clarify what’s best for you and your family. Having a structure is the best way to allow conflict free flexibility. Being understanding and accommodating toward each other’s schedules fosters a cooperative co-parenting dynamic.

The back-to-school season is an opportunity for you and your ex or stbx to demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of their children. Prioritizing clear communication, establishing neutral drop-off locations, and maintaining a balance between consistency and flexibility, will make your children feel supported (no matter what their age!) Remember that Better Apart co-parenting is an ongoing journey that requires patience, respect, peace, clarity and forgiveness and a focus on the shared goal of providing a stable and nurturing environment for your children.

 

aboutgh

Gabrielle Hartley, Esq.

Gabrielle Hartley is a renowned divorce mediator with decades of experience in resolving seemingly unresolvable conflict. Besides providing flat rate divorce and separation mediation services to clients online, Gabrielle is also a New York Times bestselling author.

Her book,  Better Apart: The Radically Positive Way to Separate can help you navigate your divorce by combining practical advice with the healing power of meditation and yoga. Meanwhile, her second book, The Secret to Getting Along (And Why It’s Easier Than You Think) provides more tips on navigating the most entrenched conflict — whether at home, at work, or in any relationship.

aboutgh

Gabrielle Hartley, Esq.

Gabrielle Hartley is a renowned divorce mediator with decades of experience in resolving seemingly unresolvable conflict. Besides providing flat rate divorce and separation mediation services to clients online, Gabrielle is also a New York Times bestselling author.

Her book,  Better Apart: The Radically Positive Way to Separate can help you navigate your divorce by combining practical advice with the healing power of meditation and yoga. Meanwhile, her second book, The Secret to Getting Along (And Why It’s Easier Than You Think) provides more tips on navigating the most entrenched conflict — whether at home, at work, or in any relationship.

The Power of Forgiveness: The Best Path to Emotional Freedom
The Power Of Self-Forgiveness As an experienced divorce attorney, mediator, and the creator of the Better Apart® Method, I understand that the idea of forgiveness (especially...
Best Custody Plan Guide for your family to be Better Apart®
A well-thought-out visitation schedule provides stability and predictability in your children's lives. In this guide, we will craft the best custody plan.   When navigating...
Why Forgiveness Matters
Whether we’re looking for them or not, life grants us lessons, learnings and understandings at every turn. Since writing Better Apart, we’ve learned that forgiveness is upsetting...
WB New Book Banner Draft

SUBSCRIBE TO THE CONFLICT CODE

Get The Conflict Code Newsletter and receive creative solutions to conflict in family, business and life.

FOLLOW GABRIELLE

tedxvideo

DISCLAIMER: The commentary, advice, and opinions from Gabrielle Hartley are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice or mental health services. You should contact an attorney and/or mental health professional in your state to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

NYC ADDRESSES:

  • One Edgewater Plaza Suite 304, Staten Island, NY 10305
  • 266 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Northampton MA

PHONE:
New York: (917) 905-4553
Boston: (413) 450-0420