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Entries in Pittsburgh (2)


Co-Parenting 101 at Parenting Expo - Pittsburgh!

 Monroeville Convention Center, March 8 & 9, 2014

We’re pleased to be presenting a co-parenting workshop at Parenting Expo Pittsburgh on March 8!  The Expo is a 5-city, weekend-long event featuring ideas, advice, and new products for parents, and it’s kicking off in Pittsburgh at the Monroeville Convention Center.  We’ll be there to talk about helping kids not only survive divorce, but thrive in 2 households. And we’ll have signed copies of our book Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce available for purchase.

We’ll be presenting at 4:15 on Saturday, but check out the full schedule of Parenting Expo speakers and exhibitors here, and you can buy tickets here. Kids are welcome at Parenting Expo, and kids under 14 are admitted free.  Parents, grandparents, caregivers and educators will have an opportunity to receive up-to-date information on what’s important to them right now – from prenatal care to raising teens. In addition, attendees will walk away with meaningful coupons, giveaways, goody bags full of products from exhibitors, and opportunities to win prizes throughout the Expo.

Courtesy of Parenting Expo and Blue Sky Events, we’re giving away complimentary passes to the Expo in Pittsburgh to 10 winners.  Each winner can claim up to FOUR passes.  

There are 3 ways to enter to win:

1. Leave a comment or question about the Expo in the comments section here.

2. Tweet about the Expo. Make sure to use @coparenting101 and use the hashtag #ParentingExpo.

3. Post on Facebook about the Expo and tag or link to our Facebook page:

10 winners will be announced here, on Facebook, and on Twitter between now and March 1st.

We look forward to seeing you at Parenting Expo Pittsburgh!

Not in or near Pittsburgh? Parenting Expo and Co-Parenting 101 are also coming to Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. Details here.



Co-Parenting and After School Care

The following content has been compensated as part of an Early Childhood Program promotion for Pittsburgh Public Schools. However, all opinions remain my own.

As summer winds down, our co-parenting family is slowly, reluctantly entering back-to-school season.  For us this means talk of new school clothes, making lists of must-have school supplies, gearing up for high school and pre-season sports practices, and wondering what the brand-new 4th grade teacher will be like.  For many co-parenting families, this is also the season for other conversations, conversations about things like who pays for what and adding extracurricular activities to the parenting time calendar.  

For co-parents whose workday doesn’t end in time for immediate pick-up after school, these conversations might also involve the question of their children’s care between dismissal time and dinner time.  Finding convenient, affordable, quality after-care can be challenging for any parent, but for parents of children who live between two households, the after-care challenge can also be an opportunity that benefits both children and parents. Here's how...

Co-parented children and their parents often lament a lack of time together. Further, some children, including ours, express frustration that living in two homes means that on any given day (or week), they are with one parent or the other, rarely both.  To address this, the after-school hours and the drive home from an after-care program are opportunities for parents to spend extra time with their children (if their work schedules permit), even if it’s not their designated day/evening according to the parenting time schedule.  This arrangement would be especially beneficial to families with an alternate week parenting time schedule or an alternate weekend only parenting time schedule.  In these cases, parents and children may go long stretches of time without seeing each other, so even a short car ride together or a hour a two before dinner a few times a week would be a welcomed addition.

Here in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Public Schools Early Childhood Education Program now offers extended hours to provide after-school care for children in PreK through 5th grade at five school sites throughout the district. At Pittsburgh: Brookline (Brookline), Colfax (Squirrel Hill), Morrow (North Side), Phillips (South Side) and the Crescent Early Childhood Center (Homewood), the after-school program offers full- and part-time care featuring a researched-based curriculum and age-appropriate activities overseen by a qualified, dedicate staff. Homework help is also available.  Community partners including Gateway to the Arts, the Carnegie Science Center, and Jump Start organize on-site enrichment activities for participating students.  So more than just a safe, supervised space, this program provides enrichment and support, enhancing students' learning experiences in and out of the classroom.  In particular, enrichment in science and the arts gives students unique exploratory opportunities that reinforce or supplement their grade-level curricula.

Even if your child’s school doesn’t provide an after-care program option, the "what to do after school" challenge can still translate into an opportunity.  For non-custodial parents or for parents who have less than 50% parenting time, the after-school hours could be shared or negotiated as additional parenting time, if their work schedule permits.  Some shared parenting agreements even stipulate that each parent be given the “right of first refusal” and the opportunity to enjoy additional parenting time whenever the other parent is in need of child care.  

But as with all aspects of co-parenting, the overall best interests of the child should be considered when making any tweaks to the schedule.  For example, "off the schedule" parenting time shouldn't disrupt established dinner, homework, and bedtime routines.  Also, co-parents will need to be consistent and reliable with regard to pick-up and drop-off, and they should be able to communicate respectfully with each other as needed.  So while not every co-parenting circumstance lends itself to this type of parental interaction, “off the schedule” extra parenting time is one example of how flexibility and cooperation between co-parents can benefit the parent-child relationships.  

For the Pittsburgh Public School’s Early Childhood Education after-school program, the application deadline, August 9, is fast approaching. Applications are available online at, or you can contact the Early Childhood Department at 412-325-4291 for a paper application and more details.

Pittsburgh Public Schools Early Childhood Education Program photos by Jason Cohn

PPS EC Poster