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Tips for children and divorce during back-to-school season

Any family going through a divorce knows that it can be a complicated time for everyone involved. With the start of fall getting closer, many children are ready to head back to school. Children can be very nervous about the future, especially when it pertains to a new school year or a pending divorce. Considering this, parents can do several things to ease their children's troubled minds.

A divorced couple can divide the responsibilities of heading back to school. As long as there are not large amounts of animosity between the couple, doing this should be simple. One parent can take the child out for school supplies while the other can help them by organizing their supplies for the first day. Making sure that the child knows that they are prepared and both parents are excited for the upcoming year is a great way to alleviate the child's nerves.

When spending time with their child, parents should make sure to remind them how much they love and care for them. In doing this, parents are reassuring that the divorce is not the child's fault and that both of their parents are still very much a part of their life.

Throughout this time of transition it's also important for parents to keep themselves available for questions, and even go over these questions while both doing a favorite activity, or right after one.

Making a plan and sticking to it for after-school activities, as well as living situations should also be a priority. These can include giving the child the opportunity to participate in after-school activities, and ensuring him or her that these plans are not a bother to either of their parents. Having a plan for the child's living situation, especially if joint custody is the case, also gives the child and parents structure. This structure allows them to have something to rely on and helps them in this transition of back-to-school and divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, "Heading Back to School? Putting Your Children's Best Interest First," Deborah Moskovitch, Aug. 25, 2011

1 Comment

The article by Deborah Moskovitch from the Huffington Post that was used as a reference for this article also mentioned another excellent point regarding planning out the school year. The article noted the importance of making arrangements ahead of time for days that school is not in session (e.g. professional development days, vacations, snow days), and this is definitely an essential part of a complete plan. Making arrangements for days that school is not in session can be challenging for any family and particularly for divorced parents with joint custody, so it's certainly helpful to discuss this issue as soon as a family receives the school calendar.

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