Co-Parenting

Co-parenting During Covid-19

Feature Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Covid-19 has impacted everyone in the world on some level or another – from contracting the virus, healing from loved ones who died because of the virus, or suddenly becoming unemployed. It’s an ever increasingly challenging time for those who are co-parenting. There are extra dynamics to consider:

  • Risks of contracting the virus when the child travels from one home to the other
  • Classroom attentiveness and home assignments being completed
  • How the other parent will potentially handle an infected child
  • Balancing working from home while the child adjusts to being homeschooled (if not already)
  • Effectively communicating with the other parent
  • Is anyone in the child’s family (either side) asymptomatic
  • The other parent’s sanitation habits
  • Not infecting others in the household
  • Healthcare and medical needs, if necessary
  • Among an entire host of questions and concerns.

 

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

How can parents adjust or at least make the best of circumstances? Here are some great tips to effectively co-parent during the Covid-19 pandemic:

 

The best interest of the child is ALWAYS the primary focus. Therefore, creating a plan with this being the center focus will help parents agree on the best decisions.

For those who have attorneys, contacting them first to understand options is a great idea. There may be some new developments that can bring enlightenment regarding options parents should consider.

If the custodial parent is uncomfortable with the child traveling between homes, then both parents agreeing to a revised scheduled would be in everyone’s best interest. This way, any lost time can be compensated. If parents communicate through a parenting app, then an extra tip would be to summarize any verbal communication on the app in case the content is used at a future court date.

As a general rule of thumb, both parents should try their best to avoid making decisions based on emotion. Emotions can cloud judgment. Keep the focus centered on the best interest of the child.

Dictating is never a good approach in parenting. It’s a selfish way to communicate, which eventually builds more contention.

When I mentioned this suggestion in a virtual interview with a radio host friend of mine, his eyes lit up. This is one of my favorite suggestions! There are so many different alternatives in this sophisticated era in which a parent can spend time without being physically present. Facetime, Skype, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp, and conference call apps are all tools a parent can use to stay connected. While the custodial parent is washing dishes, cooking, separating laundry, or enjoying some much needed “me” time, the child can have his or her bonding time with the other parent using these tools. For instance, they can schedule time to see each other after studies to go over questions with a homework assignment. The child can download the assignment to a shared app (i.e. Dropbox), email it, or take a picture to send to the other parent, who can review and go over it using the aforementioned methods. Just think, if kids can simultaneously play video games with people clear across the world, then they can hang out with the other parent virtually to capture that extra personal touch of seeing each other versus just talking over the phone.

These times have created heightened anxiety. If both parents come to an agreement, then it wouldn’t hurt to be kind to one another. Possibly thank the other parent for cooperating (especially if this is not the norm. It could be an opportunity for a new norm). Or end the conversation with something along the lines of, “We really pulled it together, didn’t we?” Being nice doesn’t cost a thing.

The last point to make is for parents to stay in constant communication with each, along with the kids. What is communicated and how is a powerful indicator of how successful the process goes.

Happy Co-parenting!

Aria

 

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