With summertime winding down and September crawling closer, the back to school transition this year is certainty unlike anything parents have prepared for before. As school supply lists and classrooms have been swapped for Zoom meetings and makeshift at-home offices, both parent and child will need to lean on one another as they navigate the challenges this school year will surely present. Although few could be prepared for such extreme changes in the classroom setting, co-parents can help ensure a smart start to the school year by practicing the following back to school tips.
Maintain Open Communication
It’s no surprise that open and clear communication finds itself at the top of most self-help lists. While it seems redundant, the importance and significant impact that open and clear communication can have on co-parenting and parent-child relationships is incomparable. This year, it is especially likely children will be full of questions rooted in anxiety brought on and fed by changes, including the lack of familiar school environment as well as lack of structured schedule and social interaction with peers. It’s crucial that parents openly communicate with each other and their children not only regarding schoolwork but also about their feelings surrounding the transition as well. This is also a good opportunity for parents to strengthen the parent-child bond.
Following the importance of open communication during this time, it’s equally important that parents are honest with their children about this school year’s differences and how learning might look for the indefinite future. Children are more aware of their surroundings than adults give them credit for; and, by addressing the “new normal,” parents can guide children through any mixed feelings or confusion they may have. Failing to discuss pandemic-related changes with your minor children could cause them to react negatively or believe their behavior was to blame for the changes and stress.
Define a Schedule
The word “schedule” may sound more like a wish than an action for most parents; however, defining and sticking to a schedule (as much as possible) can greatly reduce a child’s stress during an abnormal start to the school year. By outlining a schedule similar to that of a typical school day, children regain a sense of normalcy while parents can also enjoy defined blocks of time. Coordinating and communicating throughout the drafting of and implementation of a schedule will boost its effectiveness, especially for those co-parenting during this time.
Set Up Virtual/Socially Distanced Playdates
Back to school is a time for children to reunite with old friends while having the opportunity to make new ones. Without the traditional classroom environment this year, it’s important that children’s social needs are met. Coordinating with your child’s friend’s parents on activities that allow for safe peer interaction can help provide a sense of normalcy as well as much-needed playtime. If possible, parents should safely plan and coordinate outdoor activities in line with social distancing guidelines or host a virtual playdate.
Parenting often feels like juggling multiple roles at the same time; and, while challenging, it is also one of the most rewarding experiences in life. While every year brings its own set of challenges and special circumstances, parents preparing their kids to go back to school this year are feeling stress unlike that of any other school year. Although as parents we hope to be viewed as superheroes that have everything under control, it is okay – and certainly understandable given the current climate – that this school year looks a little different. By working together, parents and children can team up to achieve a successful start to an even better year.
Brazoria County Child Custody Lawyers
Navigating the waters of co-parenting can be difficult; and, the transition back to school can complicate family law-related matters such as child custody schedules, child support payments, and co-parenting. Parents can reduce stress associated with legal unknowns and focus their time and attention on their children by hiring legal representation experienced in Texas family law. If you or a loved one has questions regarding child custody, child support, or another family law matters, contact the Brazoria County child custody lawyers of Terry & Roberts today to discuss your concerns.