As your children prepare to return to school this fall, you may be wondering how to help them adjust to the new normal after your divorce. New schedules, new teachers and a new situation at home can all create stress for children and teens. Fortunately, there are a few simple strategies that you can use to help your children navigate this stressful time and to enjoy the best possible chance of success when returning to school this fall.
Present a United Front
After the divorce process, it is essential for you and your co-parent to discuss bedtimes, homework and academic decisions to make sure that you are both on the same page. Your children depend on you as parents to provide a framework for learning and growth. By maintaining open and respectful lines of communication, you and your former partner can continue to provide the support and structure children and teens need to feel secure.
Create Designated Study Spaces
Even in the middle of moving and establishing separate households, making sure your children have a safe and quiet place to study is essential for their academic success. If you share custody of your children, this can be duplicated in each of the households in which the children will spend time. A small area dedicated just for studying can be equipped with a laptop or small desktop for research, writing utensils, a flat surface for writing and other necessary items to make studying more enjoyable. This can help your student succeed in school during the divorce process and after it is finalized.
Set a Schedule
Establishing a schedule and routine is important to create a sense of security and predictability during childhood and adolescence. Even if you were not especially punctual before, creating a schedule and sticking to it is especially important during and after your divorce. By showing that you can be counted on to show up when you say you will, you can help your children to feel more confident about their new living arrangements as they head off to school this fall.
Put Family First
After a divorce, both you and your children may be redefining the idea of family. Being cordial during the divorce process can make it much easier to include your former spouse as part of your family unit even though you are no longer together as a couple. Although your romantic relationship with your former partner is over, your children will benefit from seeing that your co-parenting relationship and your love and care for them will continue long after the marriage has ended.
Write Your Own Story
By opting to be cordial to one another during the divorce process, you and your former spouse can help reduce stress and unhappiness for your children. This can translate directly into better academic performance and improved psychological health for kids and teens during the period of transition after a divorce.
Working together with your co-parent and providing the tools your children need to succeed can make back-to-school preparations much easier on all parties involved. By putting the needs of your family first, you can navigate the new normal with less stress and greater success.