Divorce is a touchy issue and can have a drastic impact on the life of a child at home and at school. How much information and advice should a divorcee provide to teachers and other adults in contact with their child, and how should the child approach the issue with friends? The following advice will enable parents going through divorce to help their children make it through this difficult period.
Children go through a range of emotions when their parents go through divorce, with common feelings such as guilt, frustration, sadness and anger, and this emotional cacophony can make life at school difficult, in some cases even rendering a whole term or year useless, but there are solutions.
One particular divorcee has had experience of the issue of children and divorce with her son going through middle school when she and her husband separated. Despite the difficulties, her and her husband decided to live close to each other in the interests of their son, with both remaining involved in parenting and education to provide as stable a life for him as they could. She highly approves of cooperative parenting after separation and divorce, believing that the interests of the child should be held paramount. She also advocates the advice and support of teachers, social workers, counsellors and so on to help monitor the child and provide them with stability. People like this can see things that parents will often miss, due to their own personal troubles.
A professor of psychology at the University of Virginia agrees with this process, because this will make teachers more sensitive and aware, though he states that parents need to avoid putting teachers in the middle, just as children shouldn’t be put in the middle. The following tips will help you traverse the emotional ravine of your child’s life during and after a divorce.
- Look at the timing of your separation – The first two months of the year are the most popular for separation, though the start of the summer vacation may be better as it helps the child adjust before returning to school.
- Let the child know first – Tell your child before anyone else in the child’s life, as it does not do to have the child hear from anyone else but you. Whenever new situations arise it is always best to be honest.
- Put the child’s needs first – Set aside your differences for the good of your child. This can help for unity at school events. This doesn’t mean you have to talk to each other or sit together, but it does mean you have to be adults.
- Don’t burden your child -Your child will have enough to deal with, and trying to confide in them or a source of help is unwise.
- Don’t make things worse – Complaining about your ex-partner, or other negative talk should be avoided.