Managing extracurricular activities for children can be a challenge for any parent, but when co-parenting, these challenges can multiply. Balancing children’s schedules, interests and commitments between two households requires excellent communication, flexibility and a commitment to putting the children’s needs first.
Consider these tips to manage extracurricular activities with your co-parent effectively.
1. Create a shared calendar
Digital calendars can be accessed from any device and are often the most convenient. Both parents can add, view and update the children’s activities, including practice schedules, games, performances and meetings.
2. Discuss financial responsibilities
Extracurricular activities often come with equipment, uniforms, tuition or travel costs. Discussing these financial responsibilities upfront is essential to avoid misunderstandings or conflicts. Determine how these expenses will be shared. Including these details in your parenting plan or divorce agreement may be helpful.
3. Encourage open communication
Effective communication is key when co-parenting. This is particularly important when deciding which extracurricular activities your children will participate in. Both parents should be involved in the decision-making process. If disagreements come up, focus on the child’s interests and well-being rather than personal preferences.
4. Be flexible and supportive
There will be times when schedules conflict or last-minute changes occur. Supporting each other during these times can help maintain a peaceful co-parenting relationship. Even if you are not the one taking your child to a game or recital, showing up when possible can send a powerful message of support to your child.
Having a solid parenting plan can make determining how to handle these situations a bit easier since both parents can review the terms and act accordingly. Having someone who can assist you with this may take some stress off you.