As another summer draws to a close, children throughout the Monroeville area are heading back to school. For children and parents, this time of year can be hectic as both must adjust to new schedules and responsibilities. For any child, these types of changes can create a lot of anxiety and stress. In cases where a child’s parents recently separated or divorced, these types of feelings are likely to be magnified.
For parents, it can be challenging to adjust to the numerous changes that follow in the wake of a separation or divorce and many also struggle with how to help a child through this time. As parents attempt to figure out how to effectively co-parent; clear and frequent communication is key to making back-to-school time easier for everyone.
- Communicate with a child – Children of all ages do best when they have a predictable routine and know what to expect throughout the day and from one day to the next. For a child who may now be splitting his or her time between parents’ homes, it’s more important than ever that parents get on the same page. Parents should establish and communicate with a child about a custody schedule and come to an agreement about a child’s daily routine with regard to when a child wakes, eats dinner, does homework and goes to bed.
- Communicate with the school – Parents should inform a child’s school and teacher(s) about a recent split or divorce. Providing this information is important as a school needs to have both parents’ new addresses and contact information. Additionally, being kept informed about changes in a child’s home and family life, helps teachers better relate to and understand a child and watch for signs of trouble.
- Communicate with an ex-spouse – While recently separated or divorced parents may not be on the best terms, for a child’s sake, it’s important to set aside and move beyond past issues. Parents would be wise to use a shared online calendar to keep track of a child’s schedule, to communicate regularly via email and to schedule regular check-ins to discuss how things are going as well as any questions or concerns about a child’s academic, emotional and social development.