How to Deal with Back to School and Divorce
For parents going through a divorce, it can be stressful for them as well as for their children who still live at home. It is important to take notice of any behavioral changes in your children. Transitional times can also be challenging for children. For instance, when it is time for children to head back to school after summer recess or school vacation days, it can be a stressful time for both parents and children; especially when parents are in the middle of a divorce.
Breaking the news of the divorce to children can be difficult. It is even more difficult when it coincides with transitional times such as when children go back to school after summer recess as some children may already be experiencing anxiety about going back to school and then layering information about their parents’ breakup can be even more overwhelming.
Here are some tips to make this transitional time an easier process for your children:
- Consider your children’s feelings and concerns. For instance, part of dealing with a divorce can potentially mean that your children may have to transfer schools depending on the custody arrangement. It is important to reassure your children that you will still allow them to play with their current friends. Furthermore, that they will also still be able to see the other parent, even if the living situation becomes separate.
- Informing the school teachers that you are going through a divorce will allow the teachers to be an extension of your eyes and to look for and notice any unusual behavior in your children and inform the parents, as well as to be extra sensitive to what the child may be going through.
- Give your children appropriate time and space to deal with their feelings of sadness, anger or resentment. Children process information differently than adults do. Allow your children to feel free to express their feelings to you. When they do express their feelings, be supporting and comforting and try to determine what may help them feel better. If they are not getting better with time, it may be a good idea to consider getting them counseling or professional help.
- Have a conversation with your children about how to deal with their friends asking questions regarding the separation or divorce. Your children should not be forced into disclosing any information that they are not comfortable with. Exude confidence in your children to say “no” to answering questions if they are not comfortable in a particular situation or about discussing a particular topic.
- Make time to do fun things with your children. Just because it’s time to go back to school, does not mean that there can’t be fun time on weekdays. Plan a particular day of the week to go have ice cream together, or play in the park, or watch a movie. Getting your children out of the house also puts them in a new environment that may make it easier for them to express their feelings and talk about their day.
If you are dealing with divorce and need assistance with a parenting plan or any other family law matters, contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation (646) 472-7971.