Back to School for Children of the Recently Divorced or Separated

Back to School is naturally a time for adjustments, but if you are recently divorced with school aged children, returning to school may be especially tough for them.  Here are some things to keep in mind to make the transition easier for everyone:

  •  Stick to Routines: As much as possible, try to keep things the same for your child insofar as homework, meals and bedtimes.  The more familiar things feel, the better your child will do.
  •  Coordinate with the Ex (Sorry...): If both parents will be involved in pick-up or drop-off from school, make absolutely certain that everyone is on the same page as to who is doing what and when so that your child is not accidentally left without a ride or wondering which parent to look for. It is also important to coordinate after school activities, school functions, and conferences. Many families use an on-line shared calendar to make it easy.
  • Talk to the Teacher:  Even if your child seems to be coping okay, if you were divorced or separated over the summer, your child’s teacher should know what happened. School administrators should also be informed as paperwork may have to be updated.
  • Talk to your Child: Children may feel worried or embarrassed about what happened, fearful of what their classmates may think. Remind your child that their friends will only know what your child shares with them and that sometimes talking to a friend can be helpful, especially if the friend’s parents are divorced too.
  • Don’t dwell on the divorce more than necessary around your child. While it is appropriate to talk to your child about their feelings before school starts, don’t make a big deal out of it either. When your child is at school, he or she should be focused on what is going on there, not what happened at home. 
  • Consider Counseling if your child’s teacher tells you that he or she is having unusual difficulties or has had a change in behavior.  Keep your eyes open as to how your child is coping with the divorce so that you can help him or her get through it with as little stress as possible.  

There is never an ideal time to get separated or divorced, but if it is something that you are looking to do and you live in the Chicago suburbs, contact O'Connor Cadiz Law to talk about your kids in a divorce scenario and how we may be able to help you with divorce or divorce mediation.  

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