August 21st, 2011 10:09 EST
Back To School Tips to Make the Transition Smoother For Parents and Students
The kids are back to school and most parents are trying to settle into the new and hectic routine of work, homework, and extra-curricular activities at the same time trying to manage the extra costs of school registration or college tuition. For divorced parents and for families who have separated during the summer, trying to get life running smoothly maybe even more difficult. The Law Office of Brigid A. Duffield, P.C. and Legally Speaking, Inc offers these suggestions to Parents to successfully get through the start of a new school year.
Set Up a Google or Yahoo Calendar or Other Common Calendar
For families in transition often less communication rather than more communication produces better results, especially when information may not be readily available to both parents. Sharing a common calendar, on a neutral site, establishes communication and transmits information so that parents know where their children will be, when. The schedule of time between households, parent teacher conferences, band concerts, extracurricular activities all can be put on the common calendar. For children who are computer savvy, with parents permission, they can add things to the calendar as well. All it requires is one parent to set it up and share a password and information is available to everyone...and it`s free!
Talk to your Children about the New Routine
Going back to school can be a big transition for your child especially if it is a new school. To make the transition as smooth as possible, talking to your child about their routine helps most children adjust more easily. Parents who are able to anticipate where a child may struggle and talking with them about how they can succeed gives the child confidence to manage new situations. Of course, when the specifics of pick up times, meals, after school activities, have been communicated to the other parent, both parents can help the child by supporting their ability to successfully get through the situation. Sharing them with your child in a simple way helps yet children are children....don`t expect that they will process or act in the way an adult would.
Send the School, Teachers, Coaches an Email
Make sure your children`s contacts at school have both parent`s contact information and address. This can be done by email. Let teachers know both parents want to be involved and informed. Request that the school send two of any important documents, one for each parent at their address.
Allow your Child to Express Themselves if not to you, then to a safe third party
The effects of divorce and separation and even starting a new school for an intact family, on children are rough. Give your child a safe haven where he or she can express his emotions and vent. Be open to the possibility that the child may need to talk with the school counselor or a mental health professional. When needed, set time aside for your child to meet with a school counselor or social worker, or trusted adult in a neutral environment. This will help your child know that other people are there to help and be supportive.
An essential part of keeping it together through this transition is picking the battles that need to be fought and putting aside the ones that don`t. Be proactive in getting the information that you need. Some parents complain that the other parent is not providing information and yet if they were to make a call to the school, the teacher, the doctor, the information is often easy to get. Don`t be dependent on anyone to meet your needs, especially if the needs are easily met if you are proactive. By being proactive, supportive and enthusiastic about school, your child recognizes the importance and value of their education.
"Every story has four sides to it- yours, mine, the kids`, and the facts." -Brigid A. Duffield
Best wishes for a safe and conflict free school year!
Brigid A. Duffield
The Law Office of Brigid A. Duffield, P.C. &
Legally Speaking, Inc.
630.221.9300 or 630-221-9990