It’s hard to believe that it’s already August and, in just a couple of short weeks, schools throughout the area will be back in session. As kids and parents enjoy these fleeting last days of summer, some are likely feeling anxious about returning to school. This probably especially true for those who recently went through a divorce.
As any parent of a school-aged child will attest, juggling and managing the schedules of family members during the school year can be challenging and stressful. Add in the numerous changes to which both parents and children must adjust in the wake of a divorce and the start of another school year can seem downright daunting.
In addition to resolving to set aside differences with your ex and come together for the sake of your child, the following tips can help make both your and your child’s transition back to school easier after a divorce.
• Don’t try to keep a divorce secret – While you may still be getting used to the idea of being a single divorced parent, it’s important to keep your child’s school and teacher informed about your child’s living and home situation. Alerting the school and teachers about your divorce is not only necessary from a logistical standpoint (i.e. where does a child need to go after school?), but also serves as a heads up for administrators and teachers to keep an eye on your child and to keep you informed of any behavioral or other issues.
• Be involved – Even if it’s not technically your night or weekend, attend your child’s school or athletic events and be supportive. Every child wants to feel like he or she matters and is loved. All of the changes that accompany divorce can sometimes shake a child’s confidence and it’s more important than ever that both parents remain as involved and supportive as possible.
• Get on the same page – Your ex is obviously your ex for a reason. That being said, you will forever be tied to one another through your child and raising him or her to be a responsible, caring and thoughtful individual should always be your first priority. It’s important, therefore to ensure that you and your ex get and stay on the same page. Scheduling monthly or quarterly meetings to discuss how things are going and any questions or concerns you have about your child’s academic, social and emotional growth can help foster a healthy and effective co-parenting relationship.