After a divorce, co-parenting is one of the hardest aspects of raising children. Now, COVID-19 lockdowns have made parenting even more stressful, especially for those with split households. During this global pandemic, it’s critical for parents to work together and to display a unified front.
Co-parenting during a crisis isn’t easy, but you shouldn’t feel alone in your efforts to provide stability, comfort, and information to your children. That’s why our team at Brain Forest Centers have put together some tips for co-parenting while on lockdown.
Create a Co-Parenting Plan
The worldwide lockdown brought on by COVID-19 has pulled parents in different directions all at once. Many are juggling multiple schedules, working from home or are out of work altogether, and homeschooling their kids the best they can. With so much up in the air, it is imperative that you work with your child’s other parent to devise a plan that’s beneficial for everyone.
As you navigate co-parenting during this crisis, always keep your child’s best interests at heart. One way you might accomplish this is to remain open and honest with one another, communicating often and discussing any impacts your separate households may have on your children. You should also come up with a plan that ensures you both convey the same COVID-19 information. Gauge what your child already knows, and then make a plan for answering tough questions and having the same responses as not to confuse your child.
Always Speak of the Other Parent in a Positive Way
Not all divorces end happily, and in many cases one parent may resent the other. However, that resentment should not be displayed in front of your child. Instead, try speaking of your ex neutrally and positively. This practice can be difficult, especially if poor communication was the reason for the split. Still, remember that your child notices your distaste for your ex and could end up displaying this same resentment.
While co-parenting during a crisis, your child must see the two of you working together as a team and not undermining one another.
If you and your ex struggle with communication, remember to focus on the “what,” “when,” and “how.”
- What to communicate
- When to communicate
- How to communicate
Parents rely on structure as a successful tool when raising children. Regular bedtimes, scheduled playdates, afterschool activities, dinner times, and time for schooling are all part of a parent’s responsibility. This kind of structure is even more critical when co-parenting during a crisis.
With children home from school and parents working from home, daily schedules and routines can be thrown off. When co-parenting with your ex, make sure that you’re both on the same page about bedtimes, schoolwork, and playdates. When you both abide by the same structure, your child will know what to expect and when to expect it, helping ease their anxiety and the stress of living in two different households, especially during a global crisis.
Focus on Safety
COVID-19 has forced the world to think differently about safety and sanitation. If you’re co-parenting during this time, you and your ex should have a plan for disease prevention in both households. The germs from one home can easily travel to another or spread to whomever your child comes in contact with. Some of the best safety measures parents can put into place are:
- Regular handwashing
- Social distancing
- Regular cleaning and disinfecting
Additionally, your safety plan should include details on how to handle a scenario in which you, your child, or anyone living in the home become sick. This will ensure that both households can work together to stop the spread of COVID-19, even as they navigate co-parenting during this crisis.
Control Your Mental Health During COVID-19
Co-parenting during the COVID-19 global crisis shouldn’t put more stress and anxiety on your family. At Brain Forest Centers, we can help both parents and children find peace during this challenging time through neurofeedback therapy. If you find that the stress of lockdown has you in a fog or is affecting your child’s behavior, contact us today by calling (317) 288-9828.