In today’s busy world of soccer games, homework and dance recitals, it can be hard enough to manage the family calendar in an intact family. After divorce, the challenge grows. Two households without daily verbal calendar coordination must still meet the challenges of multiple careers and child activities. Undoubtedly this challenge creates conflict which can damage an otherwise good co-parenting relationship.
Technology to the rescue! A busy family operating from two households should establish a “home base” for scheduling the many activities that make up the average week. One of the best tools available for this task is Google Calendar. When both parents establish Gmail accounts and share a single calendar that calendar can become the lifeline to organization. Each parent can enter scheduling information about child activities, work trips, parenting time schedule changes and the like. Since both parents can access the calendar from the web at any time, this eliminates the need to chase one another through phone calls and texts to find out what the schedule is for a particular day. Organization achieved. And from organization comes peace.
For families coping with long distance parenting maintaining meaningful contact between parents and children can be a challenge. Telephone calls are great, but the limits of audio communication mean that the preteen eye roll, the toddler smile and the freshly drawn picture are missed. Parents coping with distance can use Facetime through Apple devices or Skype to have the next best thing to a face to face conversation with their children. These free services provide visual and audio communication, which helps to promote a feeling of connection. Many families are building “Skype time” into their legal agreements to ensure visual access between parents and children between parenting time occasions. Tech savvy children are quickly on board and build a feeling that the long distance parent is there in important times.