#childsafety | Advice on co-parenting during COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic is especially hard for parents who share custody of their children, and a family advocate in the D.C. area urges them to put past problems aside.

The COVID-19 pandemic is especially hard for parents who share custody of their children, and a family advocate in the D.C. area urges them to put past problems aside.

“If you’ve had negative relationships with your co-parent, now is the time to consider forgiving them and starting fresh,” Shaynel Caldwell, founder and executive director of the Our Blended Families Inc. told WTOP. She hopes that the public health crisis can be a kickstarter for a lot of broken relationships.

She said parents need to come together on what’s most important.

“The primary concern has to be about keeping our children safe, and I believe that the best way to do that is to have the parents keep the children in one household while we’re going through this time, and/or until we can have increased testing,” Caldwell said.

Shaynel Caldwell of Our Blended Families. (Courtesy Shaynel Caldwell)

She suggests that families explore new ways to keep the parent who is not living with the child feel connected to them.

“It’s a great thing that we’re currently living in the 21st century, so that you still have access to that child, whether it’s through a cell phone, whether it’s FaceTiming, (or) using some of the other technological advances that we have via Zoom or (Google) Duo,” Caldwell said.

With children at home taking online classes, Caldwell said this is a great time for one parent to reach out to the other and ask them to help their child with their homework.

“One parent can’t do it all, and they shouldn’t have to,” she said.

Caldwell advises parents to get creative with different ways to connect and let their child weigh in, too. And parents could pledge that any lost “together time” between a child one parent will be made up later.

Our Blended Families’ Shaynel Caldwell on co-parenting during COVID-19

Finally, she said children should be reassured that this is a very unusual time, that they have not done anything wrong and that both parents will work hard to keep everyone in communication.

Read more parenting tips at Our Blended Families’ website.


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