The school year can be overwhelming, but learning how to communicate school progress when parallel parenting is still important. Even with the limited parallel parenting communication, you can still keep your ex aware of the child’s progress, projects, school programs and extracurricular activities. You definitely cannot leave this type of communication to the child because it’s not in their job description to be the communication gopher.
“You mean I have to actually talk to this person?”
Not verbally because if used correctly, most of your parallel parenting communication is done through email. I’ve outlined a communication email template here in case you need a refresher.
Now that you’ve been refreshed, let’s talk about what you need to put in the body of the email.
What is your intent? What information are you communicating with your ex?
Are you giving dad an update on the child’s school progress? If so, type this:
I have attached xx’s latest progress report or report card.
Then attach the report card. There is no need for your thoughts on why xx received the grades he/she did.
Need to give dad information on school programs he may want to attend? If the school provides a flyer, scan the flyer and attach in an email that says this:
I have attached information for an upcoming school event.
The school flyer, hopefully, provides all details on the event. If not, dad will reply with questions. It’s none of your business if the non-custodial parent attends the event or not. You did your part.
No scanner to scan the flyer? Type the details of the flyer into an email. Feel like I’m asking you to do too much? You want to make sure that you are doing what you need to do to keep dad informed. Your willingness to inform will benefit you in the long run.
Notice that these methods are removing emotions and providing the facts. It’s hard to argue facts, even with parallel parenting communication.
Trust me, your ex may throw you a bone and respond to your email with something crazy. What will you do, react or respond?
What about keeping dad in the loop for emergency situations, like when your child gets sick at school?
Sensitive subjects like when your child is ill, depending on the severity of the illness, you may need to verbally speak to your ex. This should still be followed up with an email, detailing your conversation. The email follow-up is important because you want a record that you verbally informed your ex of what was going on with the child.
Of course, there are some non-custodial parents who will bypass you and contact schools, health care staff or anyone else involved directly with their child. Hopefully, you took the necessary steps during the divorce or end of the relationship to make sure how your ex would have access to this information, either you would provide information or he/she would have to contact the school, health care provider directly. Regardless, you can avoid any drama by providing your ex information upfront. Don’t react with revenge by withholding information due to your bitterness.
Custodial parents have the responsibility of keeping the non-custodial parent aware of things going on in the child’s daily school life. By responding instead of reacting, you can do just that without any added drama.
How do you communicate with your ex about your child’s daily school life?