Parenting is hard enough for the intact family. Co-parenting from different households can feel nearly impossible, especially for the recently separated.
The majority of issues and complaints stem from poor communication with the other parent, and a lack of quality interaction with the children since the split.
Below are three tools that any family can use to avoid, or at least reduce the stress that can result.
The Family Wizard
The Family Wizard is an online tool developed specifically for co-parenting from different households. Much like you can enter your budget into online software for keeping your finances straight, you can now keep track of your co-parenting rights and obligations. The software allows you to customize the time sharing calendar to your parenting plan and make changes to it as you and the other parent agree. You can direct all communication through the program so that each party is accountable for their written statements. And you can track payments and expenses that should be split between the parties. Whether you like it or not, you have a partner in child rearing until each of your children becomes an adult. The more organized you can be, the better chance that your stress levels will reduce.
Skype allows users to talk, text and see callers on the other side of their computer or phone. Although you may split your time with your children, absent a Court Order limiting your contact, there is no reason that a child should not see and speak with both of their parents every day. Adding the live video feed to a phone call allows parents to interact with children, view their schoolwork or accomplishments and connect in ways that are impossible over the phone. In this day and age, Skype is a must have for the time sharing parent.
Let’s face it, for many parents, the time sharing exchange is an extremely stressful process. Many parenting agreements call for an exchange through the school to limit interaction. Still, there are always instances when the parents must do the exchange in person. Residential security cameras have been around for awhile. But the ability to record both video and audio is a fairly recent development that Night Owl provides at a price most can afford. Audio and video replay takes the “he said/she said” out of the process, and can make it much easier for a judge to determine who is at fault. That should be deterrence enough for each party to act their best! Just remember to place a clearly visible sign warning guests that they are under audio surveillance.
Co-parenting does not have to be a struggle, but for many it is. Still, by embracing technology, many of the causes of your daily stress can be drastically reduced.