There is no easy time of year to divorce. However, there are times that present different challenges. For instance, if you are currently going through a divorce, you may want to be cognizant of how it could affect your children as they approach the last part of the school year.
Whether a child is learning basic addition or writing complex final essays, his or her performance can suffer when they are experiencing stress or anxiety at home. Studies show that divorce can adversely affect children’s academic performance and experience. As such, parents would be wise to think about this as children enter the last part of the school year.
- Focus on consistency. Changing living situations, schedules and parental behaviors is a lot for a child of any age to adjust to. Even if a child expected his or her parents’ divorce, the reality of it could be jarring. As such, parents may want to consider solutions — temporary or not — that preserve consistency for the children. This could mean staying in a marital home or designing custody schedules that create as little disturbance in a child’s daily life as possible.
- Minimize at-home conflict. When parents fight, yell at each other or badmouth one another in front of a child, the child can experience anxiety, depression and frustration. This can dramatically impact a child’s focus in school and confidence. Keeping conflict away from a child can shield him or her from unnecessary pain and stress.
- Do not forget about non-academic pursuits. Keep in mind your child is more than his or her grades. Your child has friendships and outside interests that can be crucial lifelines when he or she is going through a difficult time. Allowing — and encouraging — participation in these outlets can help a child feel supported and less lonely.
Some level of disruption in a child’s life may be unavoidable when divorce. However, minimizing this disruption and focusing on protecting a child’s well-being during the process can help him or her finish out the school year strongly.