One of the toughest and scariest parts about separation and divorce is having to split parental duties. If you are not on good terms with your former significant other, this can be even harder to deal with, especially when you have to break the news to your children.
Most parents want their children to live their lives as normally as possible and for all of their financial, emotional, and developmental needs to be met. For this to happen, collaboration and good communication are essential.
Thankfully, we live in an era where staying connected is easier than ever, which greatly facilitates co-parenting. Here are a few ways that you can use technology to make life as a co-parent easier for you.
Use Co-Parenting Apps
There are tons of apps on the market that can help you co-parent better. Some will help you keep a better schedule and arrange assignments with the other parent. Others, like Ensemble, will allow you to manage co-parenting spending. Whether your child needs new shoes or a laptop for school, you can decide who will pay for what straight from this app. It also allows you to keep discussions about money to a minimum, which is usually a big sticking point for new co-parents.
Send Positive Messages
Too often, discussions between co-parents tend to be tense and focus on the negative. Being positive from time to time never hurts and having a positive co-parenting relationship benefits everybody. Maybe you could send them a text highlighting a big step your child took that they didn’t have the chance to witness from time to time.
This could be a big academic achievement or a big step in their development if you have younger children. The other parent will appreciate that you’re keeping them in the loop, and they might start doing the same. Not only will this help bring you closer together, but you won’t have to constantly have to catch up on what’s going on in your child’s life.
Use Video Chat as Much as You Can
Children need to stay in contact with both their parents and be able to reach them when they need to. Technology makes this easier than ever, and video chats are a great way to engage in meaningful conversations with your children.
You should set a call schedule with your children, especially with younger ones. Having a time when they know they’ll be able to communicate with you will comfort them and bring a sense of normalcy to the parenting relationship.
Use Cloud Management Tools
Chores are a great way to teach children to have a sense of responsibility from an early age. Even toddlers can benefit from having chores. But it can be difficult to set a consistent chore calendar when the children are split between two households.
If you want to be able to coordinate chores easily, you can use apps like Cozy Chores or S’mores Up. The Greenlight Chore and Allowance app is another great app you should look up. Not only will it allow you to assign chores but pay your child the minute they complete them. This is a great tool if you want to show the value of money and the importance of hard work.
Capture Special Moments
There are times when your children will be needed in two places at once but won’t be able to attend one or the other. Maybe Mother’s Day and dad’s birthday will fall on the same day, or major events on both sides of the family will happen at the same time.
While you can set up a camera in a specific spot so that your children can see the action, they will miss the atmosphere of the whole event. Instead, you should consider adding phone cameras in different parts of the house and let them take time-lapse pictures of the comings and goings inside the house. You can then create a nice photo collage that you’ll be able to share with your child.
Set Up Joined Email Addresses
You need to set an email address both parents will have access to as soon as possible. This is the email you’re going to give to your children’s school, doctors, daycare center, etc. This will allow them to notify both parents simultaneously if anything happens and ensure that everyone’s always in the loop.
Think Twice About Using Social Media
You might think that social media would be a natural tool for co-parenting, but it could quickly become a double-edged sword. Exes are not always happy to see how much of a blast their children are having with their other parent. Or, they might disapprove of certain activities and decide to make a case about it. When it comes to what you’re doing with your kids, it is usually better to keep things as quiet as possible unless the other party absolutely needs to be notified.
These are a few examples of how technology can be a great tool for co-parents. Make sure that you use it wisely and focus on having a cooperative relationship based on open and hopefully positive communication.