When your family dynamic has been changed because of divorce, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that children feel like they are under a great deal of stress. This stress can be multiplied when kids are headed back to school.
The truth is you may think your child is handling things just fine. Perhaps you are right. However, you certainly know your child best. However, statistically, children of divorce often have some trouble adjusting to major changes – including a new school year.
Plan ahead so you keep as much anxiety at bay as possible.
- Stay Organized: It seems like parents of middle-schoolers and teenagers are constantly telling their kids to be more organized, but this goes for mom and dad as well. Your child is transitioning into a new grade, new classrooms with new teachers and a new curriculum and maybe even a new school. Being organized means keeping track of homework assignments, long-term projects and school supply needs. If your seventh-grader should be studying for Monday’s math test, but he’s heading to dad’s house for the weekend, be sure dad knows he’ll have to supervise study time.
- Check Your Schedule: Make sure a soccer uniform isn’t left at mom’s house when dad is driving to the game. Plan transportation to and from extracurricular activities well in advance so the responsible parent always knows where they are expected to be. In addition, be sure to have a reliable back-up plan. This prevents arguing and it also means both parents can plan ahead to attend special events and performances.
- Communication Is Key: Talk to your child, and be emotionally available to them if they need you. Pre-teens and teenagers often struggle a great deal emotionally, particularly with issues surrounding school. Many of them, however, are reluctant to talk about it. This means it’s a good idea to check in with your ex or soon-to-be-ex spouse regularly to ask about the kids. If a child expresses issues with school to one parent, a plan for improvement should involve the whole family.
Divorce isn’t easy on anyone involved, especially the children. Speak to the compassionate, skilled family lawyers at Posternock Apell, PC about your particular family situation.