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Co-Parenting Your Child During a Pandemic

By September 30, 2020One Comment

For months, we have been living with unprecedented conditions in this country. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses continue to be closed, and families are limiting contact with friends, loved ones, and the general public to avoid contracting the virus. 

In addition to the loss of a normal routine, the way we parent has changed as well. Children are often confused about what is happening, and parents who are in co-parenting arrangements must come to an agreement about what is the best and safest course of action for their children. 

Helping Your Child Deal With Anxiety Surrounding the Pandemic

One of the primary reasons for developing a Parenting Plan, aside from preventing conflict, is to give children a sense of security. While court orders remain in effect during COVID-19, it’s possible that your routines have changed, and your children are experiencing some fear and anxiety. 

Anxiety surrounding COVID-19 can impact children of all ages, as well as their parents. Some of the ways you can address this include:

  • Answer your child’s questions honestly and simply.
  • Recognize your child’s feelings.
  • Maintain healthy routines as much as possible.
  • Stay in touch with loved ones.

Planning for Social Activities

Children need social activity, so being quarantined can be tough on all involved. Depending on your comfort level, you may be able to help them participate in some activities. 

Team Sports and Group Activities

If your child plays sports or wants to start, make sure you understand the risks in these different times. A few things to consider include:

  • Is the sport a contact sport or something with a safe distance from others?
  • Is the league or team following CDC guidelines?
  • What rules will you create for social contact before and after sporting events?

Creating a “COVID Bubble”

Another option is to create a “COVID Bubble” with another family or small group. According to MIT Medical,  a bubble or pod should have 10 people or less who have agreed to limit their in-person social interactions to only that group. 

Outside the group, members agree to follow a strict set of rules, such as social distancing and wearing face masks. Parents who wish to try this approach will want to consider the risks and benefits as well as get buy-in from their co-parent. 

Making Plans for School

The coronavirus has turned many parents into de facto homeschoolers, whether they wanted the role or not. In fact, many parents are torn between sending kids back to school and keeping them at home. 

If you opt for the former, make sure your local school district or choice of school is taking every precaution necessary to keep children safe. This should include notifying parents of potential exposure to the virus. 

Assuming you decide to keep your children at home for a bit longer, there may be more resources available than there were earlier in the year. Create a learning routine for your child and see if you can connect with their teacher to create the best learning plan possible.  

The Best Interests of Your Child

Just as when you divorced, created a separation agreement, or negotiated custody and visitation, how you handle co-parenting during this pandemic is ultimately about making the best decision for your child. You don’t want your child to contract COVID-19, and you don’t want to spread it to someone else. 

Everyone’s family situation is different, and it’s vital that you evaluate the risk while working with your ex to agree on a path forward. When conflicts do arise, and you need the advice of an experienced family law attorney, AB Law in Tacoma, Washington can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. 

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