Does coparenting look different for you with COVID-19?
It is no surprise that the situation that we came face to face with as a society this year has thrown many curveballs our way. From international boarder closures, inter-state boarder closures and even restrictions intra-state on where we can travel. As a whole this has been inconvenient however for the most part, we, as a society have understood why the restrictions are in place. Unfortunately, though there has been a silent victim in these restrictions and that has been the arrangements that have been put into place for the time with our children.
Whilst the worst of it may be over here in Australia, I wanted to give you 3 options on what you can do if you and more importantly your children are still impacted by this pandemic.
1. Increase the Face Time or Skype Calls
If there has been one saving grace during this pandemic it has to be technology. Our ability to stay connected even when we are apart has really shone through. If you are still unable to physically spend time together because of the boarder restrictions do what you can to increase the time you spend with each other on FaceTime, Skype or any other video call service. Being able to see each other, hear each other and still interact that way can be a great way to maintain your bond. It may be clunky at the start (or somehow they may be able to convince you that they win at ever board game or card game and you just got it wrong along the way) but you can still do great things together during these calls such as:
- Playing board games
- Playing cards
The list is endless if you put your mind to it. At the end of the day, it is all about adapting and overcoming what has been thrown our way.
2. Talk about changing the way that you spend time together
If you are supposed to be spending time over school holidays and you still won’t be able to – talk to the other parent and your boss about what you may be able to do come 2021. Perhaps you can have more time than if it is practicable or maybe you need to look at relocating for a short period so that you can fit in with your child’s routine once this is all over. It may be inconvenient for you; it may be impracticable but if 2020 has shown us anything it is that remote working is possible and time with our families is precious.
The important aspect here to remember is that as parents, we need to fit in with our children’s lives as much as possible. They may have sporting commitments, school events etc that are starting back up and as much as we want them to come to us so we can enjoy the one on one time together – that isn’t fair to them. As adults, we have the emotional intelligence and strength to deal with these changes. As children they don’t necessarily have this yet. So help them. Show them that you can be there, that they can still do what is important to them and at the same time they can still spend time with you.
If you have an arrangement in place that could work but, for whatever reason isn’t, consider mediation as an option for you. Sometimes it is important to have that conversation to talk about people’s fears and concerns so that we can overcome the hurdle that can appear insurmountable. Don’t just shrug off the other parent’s concerns as being overprotective or obtrusive. Remember, COVID-19 is new for everyone and everyone will deal with it differently. There is no right way or wrong way to process this. Some people will want to talk, other’s wont. For some the pandemic will cause them high stress for others it will be a mere inconvenience.
Now more than ever is a time for understanding and communication.
If you would like help to reach out to your ex so you can start a conversation book in a time for a free chat with Lorrie here.