If you are raising kids after a divorce, you don’t need to be told that even in the best situations, coparenting can be difficult. In addition to the kids and two parents involved, there are often step-parents, grandparents, extended family, lawyers, parenting coordinators, mediators, court officials, and teachers who have an interest in how your family functions. In addition, there are the practical issues that arise from coordinating two households, following a court order, sharing expenses, and keeping up with busy schedules. Add in the emotional components that each family member brings to the situation, and it can be a very trying way to live at times. As complicated as all of this can be, thousands of families do it (successfully) every day. They do their best, because they all share a love for the kids at the center of the coparenting relationship.
There are new resources available today to help parents tackle the practical challenges of sharing their children. Lots of families utilize Google’s shared calendars, and email and text messaging can help high-conflict parents communicate with less arguing. Even better for many families, there are now online low-cost subscription services that provide a myriad of tools designed specifically to facilitate coparenting.
I learned about one of these services, KidsOnTime, on Twitter this week. After perusing their website and brochures, I am excited about the range of tools available for my clients and other divorced coparents. KidsOnTime costs $10 per month for all parents (and step-parents, grandparents, etc), and the tools available include:
- Online calendar
- Parent-to-parent messenger
- Wellness center, for sharing special memories and getting parenting resources
- Money manager
- Digital diary
- Family essentials, which keeps current medical and other important info in one central place
- Schoolwork planner.
The creators of this service seem to really understand how coparents need to share information, and having it all centralized in one place can help parents focus more on the kids, rather than the logistics. And they’re not the only ones. A quick internet search shows that there are other similar services out there, such as Our Family Wizard. If you are in a high-conflict coparenting situation or would simply like to keep things more organized and smooth between two households, consider whether one of these services might be worth trying for your family.