Telling your children about the divorce can be one of the most stressful steps of the process. You might feel uncertain and worried about how they will react. Even if they seem fine at home, what if they act up at school?
Is it common for kids to struggle in school during a divorce?
Some studies have found that in certain cases, children of divorce may face obstacles in school as they process their parents’ separation. For example, they might:
- Have trouble focusing on studies or lessons
- Deliberately act out and avoid schoolwork
As their family and home life undergo many changes, school may be the last thing your child wants to worry about. However, as their parent, you may want to address these struggles – and protect your child’s future.
Steps North Carolina parents can take
As we have discussed in previous blog posts, effective communication will play a significant role in your co-parenting journey. Dealing with challenges at school will be no different. If you notice issues with your child’s schoolwork or grades, co-parents can:
- Arrange a meeting at school: It can help to meet with either your child’s classroom teacher or a school counselor to discuss the challenges your child may face. You and your child’s other parent can do this together or separately. Regardless, it is important to have an open mind. It is understandable to be defensive about your children, but you must carefully consider what the educational professionals have to say.
- Speak with your kids: After you get the context from school, it is time to sit down with your child. This is often best done together, as a united front. However, if that is not possible, you and your co-parent can determine certain talking points, discuss the situation with your child and create a plan for how you will work together to help them.
- Do not put too much pressure on them: While you may want to keep a close eye on their schoolwork and improvement, understand that a divorce can be just as stressful for your child as it is for you. Give them time to adjust, and make sure they know you will be there to lend an ear whenever they need it.
Moving forward, it will be critical to establish normal routines. The sooner routines at home return to business as usual, the sooner children will start to feel comfortable again and renew their focus on their studies.