Going back to school can be difficult for children of any age. However, some children face unique challenges when they go back to school after a divorce. Children sometimes need to switch schools because of a divorce, or they may simply need to adjust to their parents attempting to coordinate schedules and activities. In either situation, parents can keep a few tips in mind to make the transition easier on their children.
Take Extra Steps to be Patient and Organized
Your child may be facing a lot of new experiences in the upcoming school year. All of these changes can be somewhat overwhelming. Remember that your child is adjusting at the same time that you are, and to be patient as he or she makes some adjustments.
Your child may appear disorganized or distracted, and may even regress from an educational standpoint. You can combat some of these issues by making sure that you are organized. Have a set schedule as much as possible; that will make it easier for your child to adjust. Making sure you are on time to school and their activities can alleviate some extra pressure as well.
Let the School Know What is Happening
It may be helpful to let your child’s teacher know about your current living situation. Emphasize the importance of the school communicating with both parents, not just the custodial parent. Provide phone numbers and pick up schedules as appropriate. Be sure that the school knows if someone other than you or the other parent will be picking up your child.
You should plan on sharing this relevant information with your child’s new teacher each year, as these facts regarding a particular child often do not pass from year to year or between instructors.
Communication is Key
Children adjust to new environments best when they know what to expect. Give them plenty of notice if you must move to go to a new school. Be sure they know and understand the schedule as it will affect them. Talk about changes in activities and classes, and encourage an open line of communication.
Be sure to maintain a positive outlook regarding the move. Your attitude does rub off on your children.
Involve Your Children in Extracurricular Activities
When you are making a transition, it can be tempting to forgo extracurricular activities like sports and drama in favor of giving your child time to adjust to the school itself. Don’t make this mistake! Children learn valuable life lessons in activities and extracurricular events offer children great opportunities to make friends and grow socially.
Remain actively involved in your child’s school activities and outside events. Don’t wait for the other parent to tell you about events—ask and remain an enthusiastic part of your child’s school life.
Adjusting after a divorce can be difficult, but you can do it! If you need any modification of your divorce terms after a move, including child support or custody, Topham Family Law can help. Call today for more information.