Coparenting Through Your Child’s Sports and Extracurriculars – It Takes TeamworkBy DADvocacy™ | September 15, 2016
Fall brings the start of the school year and the start of many sports seasons, especially as children get older. The question becomes how do you navigate staying an active participant in your children’s extracurricular activities after your split?
Sports are great for children by helping them build a sense of self-worth, accomplishment, group acceptance, and teamwork. Having their parents witness and support their efforts only increases these benefits. However, that can be tricky when those same parents have spent time and money negotiating the exact boundaries of their timesharing. When they haven’t had a conversation or put into writing what to do when a game is during one parent’s time, but both parents and children want everyone present and participating.
Take a lesson from your children and try teamwork. Extend an invitation to the other parent to attend any games that happen while you have timesharing and ask for the same courtesy. It might not be easy at first or a particularly pleasant way to spend a few hours of your weekend, but it’s important for children to feel supported by both of their parents and you’re modeling the very skills their coaches are trying to impart.
Losing stinks, but you expect your child to shake hands with the other team even if they are less than gracious about a win. A divorce can be a loss for everyone, but be the good sportsman you want your children to be. Further, it shows your children that they are your priority.
Go one yard further and sit together in the stands or on the sidelines. It’s comforting for children to see that celebrating their season of hard work is a family priority. It’s okay to set boundaries around conversation topics or non-family guests in the beginning. You’re not just a spectator to your child’s wins, but also a referee in your post-split relationship with the other parent.