The Divorcerer Speaks: Back to School’s Top 7 Tips to Transition Back Into a Routine

For many families, back to school means the end of the summer schedule full of activity and long days and the beginning of alarm clocks, set schedules and daily routines of drop-off, school time, activities, pick-ups and homework.  These transitions can be hard for any family, but for children of divorced or separated parents, it means another round of establishing a routine in each parent’s home while also trying to figure out the day-to-day back to school routine.

This added pressure should be recognized and communication between the parents, children and the school should be of the upmost importance.  Here are the top 7 tips to make your children’s school transition as easy as possible:

  • Update school records with the contact information for both parents and request that all information be tendered in duplicate, if possible.
  • Parents need to communicate with the children about the end of the summer parenting schedule and the beginning of the school parenting schedule, as they often vary and the children should have a clear picture as to what schedule will be in place.
  • Parents need to communicate with each other to ensure that any court orders or agreements that are in place are mutually understood and being followed, for the benefit of the children.
  • Discuss sports, lessons, activities, projects and school schedules to ensure everyone is on the same page for pick-ups, drop-offs and expectations when the children are in one parent’s care.
  • Keep an accurate list of all school-related expenses and expenditures, in conjunction and compliance with your agreements.
  • If at all possible, try to have a mutually agreed-upon schedule for during the school week (no matter which parent’s house the children are staying in at the time) including wake-up times, lunch, homework expectations and the like to create consistency between the homes.
  • Always remind yourself that if the children see an united front between their parents then the routine will be much easier to set, much faster.