How non-custodial parents should handle school year transitions

Even though fall is not officially here yet, the new school year is a time of transition. Kids will develop new routines and relationships as they go back to school. With all the changes that occur, some things should remain constant for the best interests of children. This post will explain some helpful tips to help non-custodial parents maintain structure and stability during the school year while enhancing the bond between parent and child.

Friendly reminders - Non-custodial parents are invariably left out of the loop and may think the other parent is hiding information. As such, non-custodial parents must take the initiative to obtain information about their child’s school and extra-curricular activities. Simply relying on the other parent to provide such information could be a recipe for disaster. 

Be a parent. Be a fan. - Parenting inherently makes you a fan of your child’s activities. Knowing that you’re supportive and that you take pride in seeing them do well means everything to a child. With that said, maintaining a calendar of events is helpful. It should be readily visible in your home, and should include birthdays, school schedules, sporting events, dance recitals and other special occasions. Most importantly, make sure that it mirrors the event calendar (if any) at your ex-spouse’s home.  

Your home is “home” too  - “Dad’s house” and “mom’s house” should not be divisive labels that mark territories. After all, you are still a family even though you do not live under the same roof. As such, rules should consistent between the two homes. Also, having a child’s favorite things in each home reduces the stress of remembering (or forgetting) to bring toys or games back and forth.

Following these guidelines should make the transition into the school year easier, and strengthen bonds between non-custodial parents and their children.

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