With all the coordination/planning/scheduling/homework/extracurricular activities that fall brings, many parents wonder… Has anyone figured out a good way to manage all the details?
How about a co-parents’ business meeting?
Grab the school schedule, the list of possible extra-curricular activities, the school supply list, and any other details (teeth cleaning, sports physicals, and the scheduled work conference that will take you out-of-town in October affecting the residential schedule) and sit down with your co-parent and plan.
Rather than dealing with the myriad of details one week at a time, consider meeting for one to two hours at a coffee shop and walk through everyone’s schedules between now and the end of winter break!
The fall planning meeting covers a three or fourth month arc in two-home family life.
Together parents do what they can to anticipate and plan for everyone’s needs to allow smoother sailing for the day-to-day and week-to-week. Here’s a checklist to consider going through that will help you make the meeting with your co-parent run smoothly:
- Address any scheduling concerns including child-care on non-school days
- Before and after school care and activities
- Plan for Curriculum Night and any other special parent-school involvement this semester
- Extra-curricular activities, equipment, transportation
- Confirm holiday schedules and plans including Halloween, Thanksgiving and the winter holidays
- Tutoring, testing/evaluations/ or consults
- Homework considerations – how to manage homework across two homes
- Special projects for this grade level – who will project manage?
- Discuss peer relationships and exchange contact information as needed
- Any behaviors at either home that are of concern (angry outbursts? Withdrawal?)
- Celebrate how wonderfully your child is growing.
- Plan for primary care and dental appointments (who will schedule and take?)
- Other healthcare related issues
- Illness concerns/management/medications
- Self-care progression (diet, exercise, hygiene, etc.)
- Self-esteem/self-confidence progression
- Any mental health/anxiety/depression related concerns
- Changes in routines
- Anticipating a move
- Adding new family members (new pet, roommate, partnership
- Extended family news that impacts children
- Other personal news that impact the kids
Take notes; write up your decisions and outcomes; circulate to each other for approval. Strong work!
This doesn’t mean you won’t need to deal with last minute changes in schedule, etc., but it does allow each household to have a bit more confidence in what the next few months holds in store as everyone settles into the rhythms of fall.