Back to School Tips for Divorced Parents
While the warm weather has not yet faded into the chill of autumn, school is back in session for children throughout the country, including here in Kane County. Long days full of recreation, trips to amusement parks, camping adventures, and other outdoor activities have been replaced with books, assignments, notes, and an educational focus. The transition back into school mode can be challenging for virtually any child, but the situation is often even more complicated for a child of divorce. If you are divorced and your child is struggling with the change of season, there are some things that you and the other parent can do to help make things a little easier.
It should come as little surprise to see communication at the top of a list regarding how to help your child. You cannot know what to do or that anything even needs to be done unless and until you talk to your child and find out where he or she may be struggling. You should also take the time to speak with your child’s teachers and school administrators, both to keep them abreast of your child’s needs and to gain their valuable input into how to meet your child’s needs. Finally, do not be afraid to communicate with your child’s other parent. Regardless of your past relationship, you need to be a team now more than ever and to help prevent small problems in school from becoming big ones.
If your child is having trouble completing assignments or is falling behind in class, you need to take action at home. Work with the other parent to establish rules regarding homework, projects, and other assignments to ensure they are being completed properly and on time. For example, you may decide that homework must be done before dinner, regardless of where your child happens to be on a given night. Or, you may decide that the hours between 6pm and 8pm are dedicated to schoolwork each night until the issue is resolved. It is important for you and your former partner to be consistent and fair for the sake of your child.
Put Your Differences Aside
You and your ex-spouse got divorced for a reason—many of them, most likely. Now is not the time to worry about that. When your child is struggling in school, it is imperative that you work together to put your child’s needs above your own personal feelings regarding your former spouse. By refusing to cooperate, you both send the message to your child that he or she is not worth your time and effort. While that may not be the truth, your child deserves to feel like a priority in your life and in that of the other parent.
Seek Legal Guidance
In some cases, helping your child cope with trouble at school may require an adjustment to your parenting plan or visitation schedule. Contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney to discuss your available options and how each could potentially benefit your child. Call 630-232-9700 to schedule a confidential consultation at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today.