There are plenty of stories floating around about how a divorce may lead to mental health challenges for the younger members of a family and how many of them experience academic slumps during or after the divorce of their parents. Those with academically-inclined children or family members who already struggle in school may worry that filing for divorce will disrupt their children’s education.
How can parents potentially minimize the impact that their divorce proceedings have on their children’s grades?
Minimize the conflict the children witness
The fights between parents and the tensions at home are often a major contributing factor to the academic decline of children during divorce. Children who feel like they have to pick sides may be more likely to experience mental health challenges, like depression and anxiety. If parents can keep the children insulated from their disagreements, the process will be less stressful and emotionally damaging for the children. Additionally, parents should try to avoid talking negatively about one another in front of the children or in places where the children may overhear them whenever possible.
Keep expectations consistent
Children need structure to understand how to operate in the world. The less the divorce disrupts their daily schedule and the expectations that the family has for them, the easier it will be for the children to adjust to life after the divorce. Parents can keep the schedule the same and present a unified front to the children where they enforce the same academic expectations, it will be much easier to help the children continue thriving during and after the divorce.
Recognize when outside support is necessary
Children who have already struggled in certain areas may use the stress of divorce as an excuse to slack off academically. Parents may need to cooperate to bring in a tutor or communicate directly with teachers providing the instruction in areas where the children struggle. Communicating with staff at the children’s schools can be a smart move that will help the professionals assisting in their education better meet their needs during this difficult time.
Proactively addressing certain issues that could affect a family during divorce, like impacts on academic performance, may help parents minimize how negative a divorce ends up being for their kids.