5 Divorce Hacks for Better Co-parenting
In a divorced family, there are many challenges that might arise especially during the beginning of a school year. It is important to try to create stability for children that might be juggling between two households and yet another start of a school year.
For our blended family, the shuffling of sports equipment and personal items can create a huge challenge. For example, if there was a Thursday soccer practice so the soccer bag ends up at dads, on Sunday there is a soccer game and you realize that they didn’t carry the soccer bag with them to school on Friday. What’s a mom to do? These simple exchanges can often create headaches for each family and here are a few divorce hacks that might make it a bit easier:
1.Duplicate items- to the extent possible duplication of items is an easy way to try to avoid item “tug and war” between the two houses. However, at times this can also become very costly and unmanageable with certain items.
2.Create a Box/Large Tote that Travels- we made this a fun activity and let the kids decorate a large tote that would travel between the two houses. If it ended up in the box, we would ensure on that day that someone would shuffle the box between the two houses. It became a great way to also teach responsibility for the children.
3. Plan Ahead- unfortunately sometimes the best way is to look at the week ahead and ensure that great communication with the other co-parent will avoid any hiccups. If it is spirit week coming up next week, plan ahead and communicate about who’s house might have the silly socks!
4. Get the Kids Involved- if there seems to be an issue with item misplacement or traveling between the two houses, get the kids involved and empower them to help come up with a solution.
5. Listen- overall, traveling between two houses can be stressful. Check in with the kids often and try to have them talk about if there is a stressor that can be avoided.
Overall, creating two loving, safe spaces and homes is the goal of a productive co-parenting relationship. It is possible with a little patience and planning!
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Amber Bradshaw Wooten is a practicing blended family life coach and has a PhD in Educational Psychology.