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Co-Parenting When Both Parents Work: 3 Helpful Tips for This School Year

Co-parenting is rarely easy, especially if you and your ex both work for a living. Working parents have a lot on their plates, between meeting deadlines and answering calls, to packing lunches and driving to soccer practice on time— a parent’s work is never done. That workload, however much you love it, can be especially challenging if you co-parent and share your parenting time and responsibilities with your ex. Even in the best circumstances, co-parenting can get tricky, and if you and your ex don’t get along well, planning for a simple school year may seem downright impossible. Luckily, there are several things you can do to make this process easier on yourselves, and, most importantly, your children.

With the new school year just around the corner, it’s important to find a system that works for you and your ex so that your children can enjoy a successful, drama-free year. Whether you maintain your timeshare agreements or you take part in a flexible timeshare arrangement, chances are you can benefit from these applicable co-parenting tips.

1. Communicate with Your Co-Parent

As co-parents, you need to be able to communicate with one another about big and small issues alike. You may have a difficult time discussing pertinent topics without arguing, or it may be hard to find time in your schedule to speak with your ex about past or upcoming parenting decisions, but it is important to make this a priority. Find a communication method that works best for you two, whether that’s a weekly email, daily texts about the kids, or a bi-weekly coffee meet-up. Whatever it is, make sure the two of you are talking about your children’s schedules, their academics, behavior, health, extracurricular activities, and anything else that you think the other person should know about.

2. Encourage Consistency

There are plenty of things you and your ex probably don’t agree on, like a fair allowance, household chores, bedtime, etc. While it’s unlikely you’ll see eye to eye on everything, it is important for the two of you to reach a middle ground when it comes to the really important parenting decisions. If you both uphold the same household rules, enforce similar academic expectations, and stick to a consistent schedule, it can make your children’s daily lives substantially easier.

Children, especially younger children, do best with consistency, and if you and your ex are able to stay consistent with your co-parenting schedules and your expectations, it can help your children adapt more easily. Plus, a consistent schedule and atmosphere is more likely to feel safe and reliable, which can be extremely important for children of all ages.

3. Get Involved

It may seem easier to take turns attending your children’s academic and extracurricular activities, but sharing those big moments can be extremely beneficial for you and your children. Your kids want you at their school performance, soccer game, awards ceremony, and chess tournament, and those events don’t always come around and frequently as we may like. Plus, even if your child does have a baseball game every weekend, by taking turns one parent might miss his big home run. By setting aside your differences long enough to share your children’s bigger events, you and your ex could enjoy all of your children’s great events without feeling competitive about your time. In some cases it may even place you in a situation where you are encouraged to be cordial to a “significant other.”

If you have a busy work schedule, attending more game days when you are available could make it substantially easier when you have to miss that one tournament for your upcoming work trip. To initiate this system, don’t bar your ex from attending certain events just because it’s “your turn.” Instead, extend an invitation to your child’s other parent so that neither of you miss those big moments. These are the moments that your child will always remember.

Need Help C-Parenting? We Can Help

Creating a workable co-parenting plan can be challenging, and even if you do find a plan that works, you may need to modify it as your children grow and their needs change. Our team at The Law Office of Jerome P. Ventura is prepared to help with your child custody issues, timeshare, and parenting plans whether you’re separating, divorcing, or just looking for a necessary modification. Whatever your needs, we’re here to help.

Contact The Law Office of Jerome P. Venturatoday if you need help with your co-parenting arrangement.