As the summer winds down and you’re getting the kids ramped up for school, there are plenty of things to do. If you’re in the middle of negotiations through a North York divorce lawyer or you’re a newly single parent, you probably already understand the importance of creating new routines for your kids so they can feel comfortable and adjust more easily.

Morning Madness: Don’t Give in to It

Whether you have small children who are tough to corral or you’re dealing with teens who aren’t so easy to get moving in the mornings, creating a schedule for your family can make everything run more smoothly. From wake-up time to out-the-door time, allotting your kids a certain amount of time for breakfast, hygiene and other prep allows morning events to flow into each other—and before you know it, you’re out the door and on the way to school.

After School: Juggling the Pick-up Routine

Every custody agreement is different; yours may say that you and your ex split after-school pick-ups. If possible, and especially with young children, try to make teachers and caregivers aware of your arrangement. That way, they can help your children understand what to expect on different days. Let your kids know that they need to remain flexible, though. When one of you agrees to pick up the kids because the other can’t, the kids will be fine with the minor disruption in their schedule.

Weekend Splits

Although your custody agreement is unique to your family, many have common features, such as weekend visitation time with the non-custodial parent. Your kids might have a tough time staying in one household for most of the week and switching gears on the weekends, so by creating a routine and sticking to it, you’re doing them a favour. They’ll always know what to expect when Friday afternoon rolls around.

Working with a Parenting Coordinator

Your North York divorce lawyer might suggest that you work with a parenting coordinator to ensure the decisions you make as a parent are in your kids’ best interests—and that might include creating new routines that are beneficial to your entire family.

Kids thrive on routines, but not because they enjoy being told what to do (remember, you probably didn’t like to be told what to do either). It’s because knowing what to expect is much easier than confronting a barrage of decisions on your own. Kids have enough to worry about during a divorce, and by sticking to routines they’re comfortable with, you’re lightening their loads so they can more easily cope with their emotions.