Dr. Amy Stark
Child Psychologist, Author & Speaker
Teaching Families How to Live Divorced
and Self-Esteem for Girls and Boys
Food For Thought
Co-Parenting Through COVID-19
Trying to navigate co-parenting during COVID-19 has been a bit of a challenge for many parents. There are so many questions and issues that arise. The courts are closed and once they do open up will be so backlogged, getting issues handled seems daunting. Here are a few tips to consider:
1. Think about your children and how hard this is for them. Talk to them in a way they can understand about how important it is to keep connections going with both parents. Be open to hearing their fears and worries about COVID-19 and help them feel safer.
2. Make sure your children keep a connection with the other parent. These are unprecedented times and it is important for all of us to make sure we keep parent connections going. Most courts are suggesting that kids continue going back and forth between the two homes and that both parents make sure to shelter at home.
3. Communicate with the other parent. No matter how angry you might be the rest of the time, for now try to put that aside so you can plan for your kids. You have a lot to think about now. You have both become teachers, in addition to being their parents. Working together to get everything done while you both try to work from home is a very big task. Make sure you keep the line of communication open during these next few months.
4. Have your kids keep in touch with extended family. Of course, at a distance, through social media, FaceTime, or Zoom. Both sides of the family need to hear from them and it keeps senior members of the family safe but involved.
5. Help your kids socialize with their friends through phone, social media or FaceTime. Those relationships keep your kids going and also give you a bit of a break.
6. Remember to go outside. You can all wear face masks while you walk around the neighborhood, practicing social distancing as you do.
7. Keep up your kids hope. We all need to look forward to something. We may not be able to go back to where we were, but we can all plan to move toward something better in the future. Find something hopeful to think about every day. Plant seeds, watch and feed the birds, help the monarch butterfly by planting milkweed, have your kids reach out to seniors in your neighborhood and leave notes for them
Remember, even with the divorce and going back and forth, your kids will get through this and will develop a sense of the importance of being community minded. We will all emerge from this and be okay. Together we can do it.
Dr. Stark's Web site is not intended to take the place of a court-ordered advice or the advice of another professional. Although you may use the input found here to your best advantage, we recommend that you do so in conjunction with the work that you are doing with your individual therapist. Remember: this Web site is not therapy; it's knowledge and support.
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