Back-to-school time is a rough season for children who are trying to adjust to their new schedule. For kids who have newly separated or divorced parents, there is another dynamic that they have to adjust to – living in two homes instead of one.
One of the best ways that parents can help children and themselves during this time is to prepare ahead. Get the child’s parenting time schedule and explain to the child how it will work with their school year. Older children may just need this added to a calendar. Younger children may need it relayed regularly or you may need to use a wall calendar that shows when they’re going to be at each household.
Alert the school
If the split happened during the summer, it’s a good idea to let the child’s school know what’s going on. This can help their teachers know how to address potential issues with attention or behavior if they come up. It’s also a good way to involve other trusted adults in the process of making sure the kids are adjusting to the divorce in a healthy manner.
Work as a parenting team
Children who know that both parents will be there for them are less likely to feel stress. Show your child that you’re a parenting team by directly communicating with each other about the child’s school matters. Try to keep rules consistent between both homes if possible because this can also ease the transition into the school.
Parents should ensure they have a solid parenting plan as they embark on the new school year. If you don’t have a parenting plan in place, it’s time to get one going. If you have one that isn’t working, it’s time to find out how to modify it so that it’s more effective.