27 August 2012

Guest Column: "Six Tips for Single Parents with Back to School Children"

by Lois Tarter

Summer is almost over and a new school year is on the horizon. The back to school divorced parent has a lot to deal with by the time the first school bell rings. When a new school year kicks off there are adjustments for kids and parents alike in any household. Here are six helpful tips that will get you through the tough transitional process this school year.

Don’t Burn Out: No need to take on the world. In the end, you will wind up getting burnt out. A single parent needs to take a steady, but comfortable pace and they will win the race.

Coordinate: Reach out to other parents and find out how you can all work together as a team. There are sure to be many rides to sports events, practices and parties, so coordinating with the other parents will help out tremendously.

Teamwork at Home: Working together as a family at home after school will make everything run much more smoothly. For example, if you and your ex washed the dishes after dinner it’s now time to bring one of your children into the fold. Kids have lots of energy and they want to learn, so pass a dish to dry and get them involved.

Teacher’s Pet:
Let your children’s teacher know that you are divorced and navigating this school year as a newly single parent. They may have some helpful tips for you. Also, it’s your kids first school year with single parents. Maybe the teacher can let you know if there are any behavioral changes in your child because they are also going through a tough adjustment.

Meet with Your Ex:
With the school year about to be in full swing, it’s important to have a meeting with your ex! There are lots of things to cover from back to school clothes to weekend visits to sporting events. No matter how you may feel about your ex, you’re still parents and the better communication you have about the children the better it will be for everybody at the end of the day.

Back to School Night: You and your ex will probably see each other at back to school night and parent teacher conferences throughout the year. Don’t make it back to school fight! Keep it civil and focused on the well-being of your children for this school year.

About Lois Tarter

Lois Tarter has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Alternative Dispute Resolution. After receiving her Master’s Degree in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Tarter worked as a Mediator for the City Attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

Lois has written articles about divorce for such popular publications as The Huffington Post, SheKnows and More magazine. For more information, visit TheDivorceRitual.com and Twitter.com/LoisTarter.