Divorce is always a painful process for everyone in the family. But the most affected ones and the ones who usually get caught in the middle are the children. One aspect that can be negatively affected by divorce is their performance in school.
Fortunately, there are ways to effectively educate your child while you are undergoing divorce. Parents who have experienced divorce have used good communication, efficient planning, increased awareness of the issues that might occur at school, and a lot of time to discuss and resolve difficulties to positively support the needs of their children in school.
Tips for Educating Children In the Midst of Divorce:
Keep your focus on your children’s welfare
Every counselor, expert, and parent would agree on one thing, which is to focus on what is best for the children.
When you are thinking about leaving a bad marriage, you might want to take into consideration the turmoil a divorce will cause. Divorce will not only create a negative effect on your own personal life but also on your children’s as well. That is why, if you divorce, it is best to center your attention on your children and their welfare first. Instead of focusing on conflict and strife, focus on your children and doing right by them during the divorce process.
Co-Parenting civilly and keeping open lines of communication should be your first priority. School requirements like homework and permission slips can be easily discussed by divorcing parents who put their children’s best interest first.
Create a plan for school requirements
Open planning between parents is an effective tool to lessen the conflict of divorce. You need to ensure that educational expectations are discussed and agreed by everyone involved.
Things like who will assist the child with his homework, can you both attend the PTA meetings, household rules about TV/gadgets or playtime and homework, who will talk to the teachers if needed, even planning the clothes that your children wear to school should be discussed and agreed upon.
Serious matters like college costs and taking university entrance exams should also be discussed. Things like the best school to attend, visiting college campuses, tuition fees, and dorm costs should be agreed on by the spouse and the child.
Be consistent with your plans and rules
One thing to keep in mind is once you and ex-partner have agreed on something, you must stick to the plan or schedules made to avoid confusion and disappointment from your child. Do not allow your children to have a longer TV or playtime in your house than the agreed time just to gain favor from them. Remember, your focus is the children’s well-being and making them favor you more than the other parent will not be good for your child.
It is important that the parents are consistent with the rules in order to practice discipline. This way, your children will also know the value of consistency and discipline and you will make them feel supported and secured.
Consider your ex-spouse a business partner
Co-parenting is like taking care of a business together. It’s just that you are not partnering for profit but for your precious children’s education and future.
Try to maintain a courteous relationship and civil communication in front of your children. You can agree in advance about the topic of your meetings and concentrate on it to effectively assist your children’s success in school. Do not use sarcastic or blaming tones; rather, keep the conversation short and respectful.
Be flexible with your schedules and parenting time during school-related activities. For example, if your kid needs to attend an out-of-town school-based competition while staying with you, you can let your ex-spouse accompany her if you cannot take an off from work. Or, you can agree to both go and treat each other courteously.
Adjust your visitation schedule as your children grow.
Since your focus is on the welfare of your children, you should consider making changes to your plans and visitation schedules every now and then to address their additional needs and activities as well as new interests.
Getting the child involved in the planning is also be a good idea in order for them to voice out their needs and preferences like having time to hang out with friends, attending ballet classes, or spending more time on activities they’ve developed an interest in.
List bot parents as emergency contacts at school.
If not legally restricted, experts believe that both parents should be listed as their children’s emergency contacts in school files. Important school information such as report cards and notices for school events should also be communicated to both parents. It is the parents’ responsibility to be kept informed and ensure that the ex-spouse is also included in the communication loop.
It is important to let the school or the teacher know that each parent has an equal interest and support for the child’s education. Dads may need to put more effort as some teachers tend to view moms as the main caretaker. If you want to be considered as equally important as a parent with your child’s school, this means being equally involved in school functions.
Be on the lookout for warning signs of trouble at school.
Parents’ awareness of their child’s behavior should always be heightened. They should be proactive and expect that there will problems along the way.
Warning signs that you should watch out for that could affect your child’s performance in school are change in eating and sleeping habits as well as in their mood or temper. You can address such by talking to your child or asking help from counselors or psychologists.
If your child is burying him/herself in school work and does not do anything else, it could also be a sign they are having problems in school. You can talk to your child’s teachers and get advice from them as they can give you insights about your child’s activities and behavior in school.
What to do if one parent lives far away.
Distance should not be a hindrance in communicating and discussing your child’s progress in school. With emails and text messages, a parent living in a different town or state can stay informed.
If you are the parent living in a different city, you can ask the teacher or school to send school information to you separately. Regular communication will address issues immediately and will mitigate surprises and arguments.
Getting involved with your child’s education should be your priority. You need to make an effort to attend significant events at the school and put aside differences with your ex-spouse for your child’s sake.
Sarah Grace Del Rosario is an education and mommy blogger from smiletutor.sg/blog. When not working, she loves to paint and do arts and crafts with his son.