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Co-Parenting a Sick Child

Tips to help you communicate with your co-parent when your child is sick.

No parent wants to see their child suffer. When your child gets sick, overprotective parent mode kicks into overdrive, and all you want to do is make them feel better.

For co-parents, there are added stresses. The child may need medications or treatment that both parents need to be aware of. Scheduling conflicts may arise if the child is too sick to go to school, attend extracurricular activities, or swap custody. It is beneficial to talk to your co-parent about these situations before they arise to minimize conflict.

Medications & Care 

If your child needs medical attention when they are sick, having a conversation with your co-parent is key. It is important for both parents to have all the information provided by medical professionals when it comes to your child’s illness, medications, and care.

If only one parent is with the child when they receive medical attention, all relevant details should be communicated

It is crucial for both parents to be aware of what medications the child is taking, when, and for how long. It can be helpful for both parents to have access to a central document where this information is organized.

TalkingParents provides a safe and secure way to share sensitive information like this with your co-parent. The Info Library is a great feature to store information on doctor's appointments and notes from visits. Learn more about how the TalkingParents app can help you and your co-parent when caring for a sick child.

Too Sick for School 

If your child is too sick to go to school, one parent may have to shift their schedule to stay home. No matter who is caring for the child when this happens, it is important to communicate with each other. 

If your child gets sick in your care and you cannot stay home, your co-parent may need to shift their schedule

If neither parent can stay home with the child, you may have to contact a family member for assistance in this scenario, it is imperative for both parents to agree on who will care for the child and when.

If your child misses school because of an illness, they may have to complete make-up work. Once again, it is crucial to communicate with your co-parent to make sure your child does not get behind. If your custody exchange day with your co-parent is while the child is making up assignments, you need to discuss any missed work and due dates.

Missed Extracurricular Activities 

If your child will miss extracurricular activities when they are sick, both parents should be made aware. Even if the activity is missed while the child is in your custody, it is beneficial to tell your co-parent if they are involved in the activity in any way.

For example, if your child misses soccer practice while they are in your care and your co-parent is taking them to their next practice, the coach may ask about it. Your co-parent might feel caught off guard if they were not made aware of the missed practice.

It is important to communicate missed activities to your co-parent if your child needs to make anything up

Let’s say your child misses a piano lesson while they are in your care, and they need to schedule a new one. Your co-parent may need to know about the missed activity if a make-up will take place during their time with the child.

Custody Swap Disruptions

If your child is sick when it is time to swap custody with your co-parent, problems can arise. It is important for both parents to communicate with the child directly to see what they are comfortable with.

If the child is too sick to move homes, both co-parents will need to agree on a solution

You and your co-parent might consider these options:

  • Visitation: If visitation is a possibility for you and your co-parent, this might be a good time to consider it. Allowing your co-parent to see the child while they remain in your care can be a beneficial solution for all parties.  
  • Video calls: See if your child and co-parent are open to video calls. This will allow your co-parent to see the child physically, which is important to many parents when their child doesn’t feel well.  
  • Frequent updates: When a child is sick, most parents want to know what is going on with them every second of the day. Your co-parent may be more comfortable with letting the child stay in your care if they are getting frequent updates throughout the day.  

If you and your co-parent are having a hard time communicating when your child is sick, it may be time to try TalkingParents. Our app makes it easy to share information about your child’s condition, make payments related to their medical care, and keep track of any related scheduling changes. Sign-up today! 

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