Back-to-school season can be both exciting and stressful – for both parents and children. When a new divorce is thrown into the mix, anxiety ramps up even more. Below are some tips to help children cope with their new reality as they begin classes.
· Let teachers know about the divorce. It is important to let teachers know what is happening. Dealing with the stress and changes due to divorce can sometimes lead to emotional outburst and behavioral issues. If teachers know what is going on, they have tools to assist in addressing such issues, or heading them off before they occur. It also allows them to proceed more carefully if sensitive topics are in the curriculum.
· Share information. Both parents should have access to information regarding the children’s grades, activities, and school events. Don’t play games; Attempting to withhold information as leverage only hurts the children. If you aren’t sure that your ex is aware of an important upcoming event, make sure you notify him or her.
· Create a shared calendar. Having a shared calendar is a great tool to share necessary information. Google calendar is one option, or you can use dedicated apps. The important thing is to input the information so you both can access it.
· Help your children plan how to answer questions from classmates. It isn’t uncommon for other children to be curious about issues surrounding divorce. Let your children know that it is ok to politely decline to answer questions that they do not wish to address and discuss with them what they would feel comfortable sharing. A little advance planning can make things much easier if and when questions do arise.
· Make use of school resources. Touch base with teachers to see how the children are adjusting. School counselors can also be a valuable source of information about behavioral and emotional issues.
· Know when to seek professional help. Despite your best efforts, children may need additional assistance to cope with what has happened. It is important to seek professional help if your children’s grades drop drastically, they lose interest in friends or activities, they develop physical symptoms, or they display marked changes in behavior, such as stealing, fighting, or skipping school.
For help navigating any family law issues, call Kruse Family Law at 612.231.9865, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.