Social Distancing and Peaceful Parenting with Shared Placement
COVID-19 has disrupted lives and schedules everywhere, but what about co-parenting during Coronavirus? How do you practice social distancing, keep the peace, and keep everyone safe in shared placement arrangements? The answers aren’t easy, and every family has to decide what works best for their situations, health, and placement agreements. However, there are some universal things we can all do in two household families to ensure peaceful co-parenting.
According to the official Safer at Home guidelines, travel for placement time and changing households is acceptable. Still, many families are struggling with the decision and how they should be co-parenting during Coronavirus to keep their loved ones safe and accommodate changed work and school schedules. Not everyone is working from home, and many essential employees are still in the workforce.
We asked our Community and Connection group on Facebook about co-parenting during Coronavirus, and the responses were varied:
“We’ve been quarantined for days besides (the) grocery store. My ex and his wife both work at restaurants… They agreed its best for the kids to stay put at my house for now.” Jen
“First off we don’t hate each other which helps. We agree that our kids’ health is most important, so because I’m working from home we agreed they are better off with me the majority of the time because they aren’t being exposed to 3rd party germs, if I need to grocery shop for our home I drop them off with him so they don’t need to go to the store and risk exposure. He still tries to get them every other weekend, which is fine with me as long as they stay home and no one at his house is sick.” Perla
“I asked my attorney… and she said the placement schedule should continue as normal so long as both parties are being responsible in social distancing at each home. The problem with us is that I don’t think he is, so I might reach out to ask if my daughter can stay home with me only right now, and just FaceTime him.” Kristen
Here are some tips:
- Communication is important! Put differences aside and talk without accusations or bitterness, so you can both be thinking about the kids and not your disagreements.
- Keep the same schedule for consistency if you are all social distancing, healthy, and it works for everyone.
- Consider other methods of communication, like FaceTime, Messenger Kids, or Marco Polo. Snail mail is also a great idea- kids love getting mail, and letter writing could be an excellent home learning project!
- If you don’t have good communication with your ex, consider sending everything in writing and take a deep breath before responding. Consider what will cause the least amount of conflict and keep everyone safe.
- If anyone is an essential employee, consider the best way to keep in contact and foster relationships with everyone, without spreading the virus. Always put safety first.
- If your ex refuses to socially distance or take safety measures, co-parenting during coronavirus is going to be much scarier and more difficult for everyone involved. Reach out to your lawyer or the court system for help.
We all have enough on our plates, between e-learning, kids home, tiny babies, fed-up teens, working remotely, and protecting our health. Co-parenting during Coronavirus is an added strain, but we will all get through this, just like we are with the 75 other issues we are juggling! We have put together more resources and info about COVID-19 on our site and are updating our social media daily. Good luck, Mommas! We’re in this with you!