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Five ways separated parents can support their children with extra-curricular activities

on Monday, 27 November 2023.

Most children will engage in some form of extra-curricular activity during the week such as sports, drama or music lessons. For separated parents, however, juggling these activities can be challenging. We offer five tips to help separated parents manage.

1- Be in agreement

If you wish for your child to attend an extra-curricular activity, it is so important that both parents are fully on board with the activity and the commitments that come with it. Keep note of the activity schedule in order to decide which a parent can be available to take the child. This would also ensure the activity does not unfairly take from any quality time between one parent and the child.

2- Be flexible

If your child really wants to do an activity but it doesn’t fit with your current schedule, consider how you can be flexible to accommodate the commitment. You may find it useful to share the travel, costs or offer to care for any other children while the other parent takes the child to the activity.

3- Be in the know

Sign up to any available mailings or apps related to the activity to ensure you remain up-to-date with any news, changes, or requests from activity leaders. Both parents can then positively engage with the child and make arrangements more efficiently.  

4- Be consistent

Particularly for sporting activities, if children do not attend training, they may not get selected for the team. If the child doesn't want to attend on a particular occasion, listen to their reasoning and decide together. Do you both agree that they shouldn’t go, or should the child be positively encouraged to attend?

5- Be organised

Extra-curricular activities typically come with additional kit (ie costumes, sports kits or instruments). On handovers, ensure that the child has everything they need to attend their activity. This can help avoid unnecessary stress, anxiety and worry for either parent or the child.

We appreciate that for parents that are recently separated there will be a period of adjustment. For those that have been separated for some time, yours and your children's commitments will change over time. Things won't always go to plan but, where possible, parents need to be able to work together. It is in the children's best interests to see both parents cooperating to ensure that their child's interests and talents are nurtured.

If you need any advice regarding child arrangements please contact our New Enquiries team on 020 7405 1234, or complete the form below.

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