CO-PARENTING AND COVID-19
Co-parenting remains a priority in the uncharted territory of the future. Children need the reassurance that their parents will work together to protect and nurture them in a new and very different world. Many parents are facing never even imagined challenges and need the cooperation and support of their children’s other parent to keep the children safe and secure during this time.
Parents know that their children’s safety is a priority; however, each parent may have a different idea of safety. The overriding question is: Do the children need to stay where they are in order to stay safe or, in order to stay safe, do they need to leave. With the assistance of regular news updates on how your area is affected by the virus, parents will be making a plan to keep the children out of harm’s way. “Survival” may become an issue where your children live. Co-parents can arrive at an answer to the basic question of safety and survival with a realistic discussion of individual circumstances with the children’s safety a priority.
Co-parents have been parenting sharing time and parenting responsibilities per a parenting plan that they constructed in the past. That plan may be unworkable in the currant circumstances. The new goal may be keeping the children safe within the confines of two homes while sheltering in place. Co-parents will need to construct a plan to accommodate the health and needs of the children and each parent.
Most school age children are involved in distance learning during this time. Many of the children need parents to supervise and help with this process, whether it is online learning or paper and pencil packets. The process can be extremely challenging for both children and parents. The success of distance learning hinges on the ability of the co-parents to support their children and each other in this very important area of children’s lives. Parents will need to develop a working agreement to accomplish the continuation of their children’s education.
Parents working at home may be a new situation for some families. Cooperation is essential to allow the double duty of child care and employment to keep the income stream flowing. In some cases, one or both parents may no longer be employed and the income stream has stopped. Each situation presents a unique set of circumstances that requires co-parents to brainstorm for solutions that both keep their children safe and promote healthy development.