With another summer coming to an end it means kids will be heading back to school. This time of year is always hectic for both parents and children as everyone adjusts to new schedules. For many children, the disruption to their summer schedule can cause stress and anxiety. When the child comes from a home where the parents have recently divorced or are separated, they may find these feelings elevated.
As a parent, you understand the challenges of adjusting to change as a result of your divorce or separation. With the school schedule about to wreak more havoc on the life of your family, you may be struggling to figure out how you can help your child through this time. As you are working out the details of how to co-parent through times like this, it is frequent and clear communication that is the key to making the adjustment back to school easier for everyone.
- Speak with your child – It is easier for children no matter their age to have a predictable routine and understand how there day will go. For a child who suddenly will be splitting their time between two homes, it is important that parents are on the same page with schedules. Parents should communicate to the child about where they will be on a daily basis. It is important there is an agreement made regarding where the child sleeps, plays, eats dinner or does homework.
- Talk to the school – It is a good idea to inform your child’s school and even their teacher about your divorce or separation. For one thing, the school should have access to both parents’ new addresses and contact information. When the child’s teacher knows about a new situation at home it may be easier for them to notice any signs of trouble.
- Have conversations with your ex-spouse – Even though you may not be on the best terms with your ex, for the sake of the child it is important to put aside your issues. Using email and online shared calendars is a good way to communicate when face-to-face meetings could still be tense. When a parent begins to have extended days away from their child, it may be something they are not used to. Having the ability to stay in touch daily with both the child and ex-spouse can really help.
The adjustment period around divorce is already stressful enough for both parents and children. When school begins, things can get even more chaotic. Good communication may help ease some of the worry you are experiencing.