By: Jaclyn Taylor
December 12, 2019
Co-parents who are no longer in a relationship are likely to have trouble communicating regarding their child, especially in the beginning months of this new stage of life. While some subjects or topics of communications about your child or children require face to face communication, others require zero physical interaction between parents. The child or children’s schedule, including parenting time, holiday time, vacations, extracurricular activities, doctor appointments, school events and deadlines, birthday parties, etc., is one area where parents can utilize online or virtual tools to communicate without having a conversation.
A free solution is the use of a Google Calendar. Parents can sync their Google Calendars for free and both add events. If parents feel uncomfortable sharing their regular use calendar, you can create a special calendar for your child or children and adjust the privacy settings so that the parents only share the child or children’s calendar. This way, both parties are on the same page in regard to when the children should be with either parent or when the children have extracurricular activities, school events, and doctor appointments.
If you choose to use a Google calendar, learn about the features that are offered and make sure that you are taking advantage of every opportunity to reduce future friction with your co-parent.
1. Use the color coordination feature. Take advantage of this organization tool and label different types of events with different colors or, if you have more than one child, designate a color for the activities of each one.
2. Save reoccurring events. If your child has soccer practice every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m., choose the option to put it on the shared calendar for that time each week. Not only does it save time by only requiring a parent to enter the event information one time, but it will avoid confusion in the future by reducing the odds of a parent forgetting to add soccer practice to the calendar one week or making plans before it appears on the calendar.
3. Include locations. Whenever possible, input the address or general location of the event into the location field itself. Again, this avoids unnecessary confusion or disagreement down the road.
Please also note that a Google Calendar is only one of many options to facilitate a family calendar. Other applications, specifically those created for co-parents, offer a calendar function as one feature of an entire package. Stay tuned for more information regarding the full-service co-parenting applications that are currently on the market.
Photocredit: Estée Janssens on Unsplash