School is a second home for children. And when the true home is in turmoil because of divorce, that second home can become a refuge, or an outlet for negative feelings.
That’s why it’s important to let your children’s school know if you and your spouse go through a divorce. Forming a cooperative relationship with the school will open doors to resources that will help your child get through the process in the healthiest way possible.
Teachers – Make sure your child’s teachers know about this major change. Children are less able than adults to separate their emotions about an event. (And many of us adults aren’t great at it!) They may be feeling fear, insecurity, guilt, or any other emotion on a daily basis. This may impact their focus at school, self-esteem, friendships, and academic performance. Many children feel safe with their teachers. Teachers in the know can watch for any signs of distress, alert parents to performance changes, and offer a shoulder to the student.
Guidance Counselors – Counselors are trained to help during challenging times. Let them know so they can offer support.
Support Groups – Some schools offer special support groups for children coping with divorce. If your school does not, consider enrolling your child in a group just for children.
Be sure to talk to your child before he or she returns to school after hearing the news of your divorce. Make sure he or she is aware of any changes in routine. Let them know to whom they can speak at school if they have questions or are feeling sad.