Parenting Effectively–even after divorce
“Today is going to be a great day!” Andy thought as he scrambled the eggs for his daughter’s breakfast. “Amy is up. We are ahead of schedule. Everything is running smoothly.”
“Dad! I left my violin at Mom’s! I need it for rehearsal.”
Andy threw the spatula. “Great! Just great!” Andy envisioned the trek across the city to grab the violin, the late arrival to school, and, even worse, the conversation with Brenda about why he was interrupting her morning. “Why can’t we get this school-thing down?” he muttered.
Though most parents want to work together after divorce, they often don’t know how. These websites can help.
For organization: 2houses.com or ourfamilywizard.com
These websites help parents coordinate efforts–especially parents who find it difficult to communicate without arguing. They provide a central location to organize and track important parenting information. They include:
- Online calendars for noting upcoming events and coordinating schedules—keeping both parents engaged in school and extra-curricular events.
- Medical information (vaccination records, prescriptions, doctor notes) so each parent can communicate with school nurses,
- An online journal to share photos, videos, and personal accounts of activities,
- Financial sheets to track expenses—helping parents stay on top of all they spend to support their children
For parents who struggle to talk with each other or just struggle to stay organized, these sites help get parents on the same page.
Andy realized he had trouble remembering all of Amy’s different activities–especially activities that met erratically. He proposed using 2 houses to record events. He offered that it would help him remember details (like the violin) and would keep him from running to her house. Brenda agreed that having one place for all Amy’s information would be better than tracking emails, texts, and voicemails.
A month into their use both parents were amazed by how much easier it was to coordinate parenting when they worked from a common calendar–complete with notes on items Amy needed and when. They also found they were much more patient with each other on the money issues as each saw a record of what the other was providing for their daughter. The real gift came, however, with the pictures.
When Brenda saw pictures on 2 houses of Amy and her dad having a blast at the Children’s Museum–she realized just how much Amy loved time with her dad. Though Brenda hated the loneliness of Amy being gone on Andy’s nights, those pictures proved just how valuable the time with him could be.
To understand divorce from children’s perspectives (and how to help them): UpToParents.org
For resources targeted to help parental cooperation go even deeper–consider uptoparents.org. Developed by Charlie and Barb Asher, the site offers a wide variety of articles, videos, and interactive worksheets to help separated or divorced couples work together as parents. Drawing from the stories of families who experienced the high cost of refusing to cooperate as well as those who found a way, the site provides both inspiration to co-parent well and practical tips on how to do so.
The site’s resources also provide a fruitful framework for professionals working with estranged parents. Parental inventories offer insights into each parent’s style of parenting, their knowledge about parenting, and what they appreciate about the other parent—which gives a great foundation for helping people work through issues. A Professional’s Corner offers articles and videos specifically targeted to support therapists, counselors, and pastors.
If you are considering divorce, going through divorce, or are struggling to co-parent post-divorce–The Resolution Center offers specific services to help you learn to co-parent effectively. Child and Family Advocacy designed to educate parents on typical challenges in parenting after divorce and how to meet them. Our conciliation-centered approach to mediation assists parents in working through divorce cooperatively. We can help you re-frame your family into a unit that works. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-344-9740. We look forward to serving you.