Tips on how to Prepare for the Transitions of Back to School.


I know many of you are back to school today. Some, like me, start next Tuesday after Labor Day. I don’t know about you, but neither Kate nor I are ever ready for it. I think it brings back those feelings from my same childhood. The Summers were when I was closest to my mom. We shucked corn, sold watermelons, made the freshest and most beautiful salads to eat together for lunch (with lots of onions and ranch dressing), we shelled and “put up” peas, I read books and ran barefoot to my grandparents house and played under the sprinkler. Ah, Summer. Time and memories are precious. And, I miss Kate when she goes back to school. That being said, I am also grateful for school being here because it means I have more time to work on helping more people and getting my message out there.

Also, with going back to school, the routine changes. Schedules for drop off and pick up change, after school activities begin again. With another transition, children can be a bit thrown off. Make sure you continue to have smooth transitions with the other parent. Here are some tips to help ensure the transitions remain smooth ones :

  • Make sure you have a schedule month by month that take into account the school’s calendar (teacher in service days, holidays, etc.) so there can be no misunderstanding. Make sure every single day is accounted for drop off and pick up. You know when you are responsible and the other parent knows his or her responsibility as well. Go over the schedule with your children if they are old enough. Even at two years old, the child benefits so much by a daily reminder of who is picking her up and when she will see the other parent next. Always communicate how long the child will be with the other parent and when she will be back with you. This helps them so much with the anxiety of the back and forth.
  • Confirm by email when and where “switchovers” will occur if it is not a school drop off, pick up. This should be on the schedule as well. Who is driving to where?
  • When you are transitioning from one parent to another in person, make sure to take time before that to ground yourself. It is super imperative that you keep tensions low when you transition your children to the other parent.
  • If your child is going to be picked up from school by the other parent for an overnight, make sure their special cuddly animal or toy is packed appropriately and tucked into the backpack. Speak with their teachers ahead of time about the importance of this to your child. Just make sure to communicate with your child about not bringing it out at school or to abide by the teacher’s rule about toys to be able to continue the practice.
  • Realize that the schedule may change because of activities and stay flexible and open to change for the child’s sake.
  •  Never make your child responsible or feel bad for any changes to the schedule.
  • Don’t be late for pick up. If it happens often, your child may begin to feel you do not care about him.
  • Meet with the new teachers to talk about the schedule so that they are aware of what is going on for your child and how you are working out the arrangements of drop off and pick up. This is a good time to tell the teacher about the stuffed animal or transition toy that your child will be bringing to school at times.

I realize the list above is mainly for parents of younger children, but even college age and adult children need constant communication about your divorce. Leaving for college or going back to college can bring up difficult emotions. They still need to know that you both love them and that they are not responsible for what is happening in your marriage. They need love, reassurance, and constant honest communication. Never talk badly about the other parent, even if they are 40 years old and you think they can handle it. They will always be your children and need the parental relationship with you.

I hope you have a great week! Please let me know if I can help you transition in any way.

Go here for more resources on going through divorce and healing your way through it. Please leave a comment here. I want to hear about what you think and how you have taken action this week. Let’s talk on the Facebook page http://facebook.com/candacesmyth/ or send me an email at candace@candacesmyth.com.

The divine light in me honors the divine light in you,

P.S. If you live in the Washington, DC area, here is the information on my new office for mediation clients in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia : 1425 K St. NW, Washington, DC 20005. My telephone number is (202) 587-2772.

P.S.S. Get ready for some amazing resources! Not only do I post a weekly interview with a divorce-related professional or divorce story to learn from, but I am also about to give you a few key legal resource sites for each of your states. I will let you know when you can grab your local resource kit! Go here for the weekly interviews.

This article is not legal advice. You should consult an attorney if you have legal questions that relate to your specific divorce.

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