There is no such thing as a “typical divorce,” and there is certainly no such thing as a “typical child of divorce.” Every situation is unique and is the result of a combination of countless variables in the family’s circumstances and relationships. There are, however, certain trends and possibilities of which divorced parents should be aware, as many children of divorce may experience similar challenges. A common area of difficulty is often found in the classroom, and divorced parents can enlist the help of the child’s teachers to identify potential problem areas.
A few years ago, researchers at the University of Wisconsin conducted a study on the effects of divorce on elementary school students. The study’s findings indicated that children whose parents had divorced tended to fall behind in math, along with setbacks in social skills, and the onset of anxiety, sadness, and lower self-esteem. Interestingly, the effects seem to coincide with the beginning of divorce proceedings, but did not show improvement or worsening once the divorce was finalized.
If you are in the process of getting divorced, or your divorce has been recently finalized, it is important to pay close attention to how your child is being affected. Watch for signs of slipping grades and symptoms of stress and anxiety. To the best of your ability, try to separate your feelings regarding your ex-spouse and work together to ensure your child still feels loved and supported by you both.
Communicate with Teachers
With the school year in full swing, your child is probably spending the majority of his or her day under the supervision of one or more teachers, depending on your child’s age. Most schools provide parents with the opportunity to meet with the teachers to discuss various concerns, either during parent-teacher conferences or other avenues. Let your child’s teachers know some of what is going on at home, and ask them for any insight they may have to offer. Of course, they will not tell you how to parent, but, while this may be your first divorce, your child is not likely to be the first child of divorce they have ever taught.
Most professional educators are well-trained in identifying potential problems while they can still be addressed relatively easily. They can also help your child to feel heard and understood. It is impossible to provide too much support to your child, and teachers can be invaluable resource for both you and your child.
If you have questions about the divorce process and how it may impact your children, contact an experienced Will County family law attorney. Our compassionate team will help you find solutions that protect your rights while looking after the best interests of your child at every step. Call 708-518-8200 to schedule your free consultation with Kezy & Associates today.