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How to Co-Parent During Coronavirus

Co-parenting is a difficult task that often takes time, trial and error, and patience to get right. Co-parenting can be complicated through a number of different factors. When circumstances arise, co-parenting often has to be changed in order to work in the new environment. The presence of coronavirus will alter the way that you co-parent. Here are some tips on how to be successful co-parents while dealing with coronavirus.

  1. Stick with the routine where you can.

    It is inevitable that changes will have to be made in the presence of coronavirus. However, there are still places where you can keep consistency, no matter how small they may seem. Children thrive on routines, keeping any aspects of their lives consistent will help them remain calm and make a scary situation more predictable for them. Engage in similar activities with your child as you have in the past and focus on activities that interest them. If your child is out of school, try to work academics into their day. School subjects can be implemented into their daily routine with familiar activities such as reading their favorite books, practicing their favorite school subject with writing or math exercises, or even at home science experiments. Additionally, coordinate with your children’s teachers as many are sending excellent resources for you to do at home.

  1. Accept that you may have to interact with your co-parent more than usual.

    It is vital that communication is strong with your co-parent during this time, even if it may not have been in the past. Making a conscious effort to effectively communicate with your co-parent will help you both. Tools such as Our Family Wizard and Google Calendar can help increase communication while also keeping it civil. One major difference that you may experience is that pickups and drop offs may have to be face-to-face if school or your usual spot is no longer an option. If you experience this, minimize all unnecessary interaction when you exchange your child and try to keep these communications as short and efficient as possible. Try to do your best to be as responsive, understanding and civil as possible as you communicate and interact with the co-parent. 

  1. Be flexible.

    Parenting schedules are often subject to change since life throws different things at us, oftentimes when we do not expect it. Things come up that require changes to be made, this is why flexibility is extremely important in co-parenting. During this time, there will have to be adjustments to the parenting system that you have developed over time. It is critical to be flexible and cooperate with your co-parent in order to keep things running smoothly for your children. If you are uneasy about the current custody agreement due to coronavirus, openly communicate that with your co-parent and attempt to come to a temporary agreement. Be open to your co-parent’s concerns and desires and make sure you vocalize your own. Know which battles are important for you to fight, and which battles you are able to concede. At the end of the day, both parents will have to compromise and work together in order to continue functioning.

  1. Accept Help.

    Due to the increasing need for social distancing, children will see a decrease in their typical events. Extra-curricular activities, playdates, school, and sports are all aspects of a child’s life that will be impacted by the coronavirus. However, this doesn’t mean that your life will be put on hold. Work and other responsibilities may not go away and this can create issues if you are unable to watch your child during certain times. Accepting help from your co-parent or other third parties will be extremely beneficial to you and your child by allowing your lives to continue to run as smoothly as possible. Accepting help will decrease your stress levels as well. Putting personal issues aside and accepting help from a step-parent or extended family may be necessary in order to act in the best interest of your child. 

The Law Office of Erin M. Wilson is available as a great resource to help you adjust or further develop your parenting schedule. Whether you are already co-parenting effectively and need guidance during this time, or are struggling and want to move forward in a more successful manner, Erin has worked with parents with varying degrees of conflict and can help any situation run more smoothly. Everyone wins when parents are able to co-parent effectively. Keep The Law Office of Erin M. Wilson in mind now, and in the future, as a source of support for your co-parenting questions and concerns.

The Law Office of Erin M. Wilson LLC 
180 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 900
Chicago, Illinois 60601
312-767-4220 (P)