Home > divorce, paternity/child custody > Raising Kids With the Ex After the Divorce: Part 2

Raising Kids With the Ex After the Divorce: Part 2

I’ve spoken a lot to my own personal experiences here on this blog, most of them less than pleasant.  This is the part, however, where I thank my lucky stars that while I may not like my ex much, he is reasonable to work with in terms of calendaring/scheduling/making kids available for important things/etc.  We communicate quite well, mostly through email and text messages, about the kids’ health, schedules, schooling, activities, etc.  Still, this has not always been such a pleasant experience.  There have been a number of times in the past when I have found out about awards being given, or programs that the kids were participating in, either after the fact or a mere few minutes before they were happening.  We have remediated this situation like adults, though, Folks, and a good deal of this is because we are utilizing a FREE resource, online, to make it happen.  I’m talking about online calendaring.

Who knew something as simple as a Calendar could solve so many problems?

Who knew something as simple as a Calendar could solve so many problems?

My ex and his wife started using an online calendar through Google a couple of years ago to post the kids’ schedules.  This works better now than it did before because they also started sending me e-vites (per my request) whenever they add things to the calendar.  Then if things change, I get an automatic notice from the calendar of the change.  I use a Google calendar for work, and so the two actually mesh together on MY google calendar view.  Now I always have the kids info (so long as it gets posted.)  Problem (largely) solved.

Google isn’t the only free calendar out there.  About.com did a review on the top 5 of these things (located here.)  AND, if you REALLY need extra supervision, there are paid sites that help you coordinate with an ex in co-parenting your children.  A client of mine and his (almost ex) wife are using www.ourfamilywizard.com, which as I recall runs about $100 per parent per year, but has more bells and whistles for co-parenting, and is specifically designed for divorced parents who have joint physical custody.  And again, this is not the only paid site.  (I ran a google search of “paid online calendars coparenting”, and it brought up a number of them.)

It doesn't need to be complex, Folks...leave the Mayan calendaring system out of it.

It doesn’t need to be complex, Folks…leave the Mayan calendaring system out of it.

The point here is this:  The vast majority of co-parenting conflicts revolve around communicating about the kids’ schedules.  Most divorced parents are divorced because they really don’t like each other, and having to actually TALK TO EACH OTHER on a regular basis  is grating at best, excruciating at worst.  Using an online calendar, paid or free, can drastically eliminate the actual talking back and forth that you have to do with an ex.  Ratcheting down the tension in general makes ALL other interactions less painful.  And while I’m all about eliminating the pain of the parents, the best and most important consequence of ratcheting down tension and eliminating irritation and conflict for the parents is this:  Your kids have a chance to have a more normal childhood, because the conflict between their parents isn’t constantly spilling over onto them.

And that, Friends, is worth any amount of discomfort in learning new technology/implementing a new system with an ex.  Period.

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  1. Carole Thayne Warburton
    February 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I love the calendar idea. I can see how this could work in other cases too.

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