Children, as much as possible, should be spared from the burden of dealing with the issues of their parent’s divorce. Juggling school and getting kids to after school activities can be very challenging for all parents, but especially so for divorced parents.
Read and heed these back to school tips to prevent your child from suffering the negative consequences of your divorce.
10 Back to School Tips:
shared by Ellen Kellner, author of The Pro-Child Way: Parenting With an Ex taken from an interview I did with Ellen from my past Teleseminar archives.
- Plan transitions: First on the list is for you as a parent to do something visible for your child. Your presence must not just be known to your child but must especially be felt and seen. One way, is to put some reminders on to your child’s back pack by pinning a tag that would visibly remind him or her that you are there for him or her always. The whole point is that you should be mindful always that your child knows where she’s going at the end of the day and that your child will not experience that sense of not knowing that’s going to happen to him or her when the day at school is over.
- Coordinate the Calendar: Second tip is for you to be able to know what’s happening to your child in school as far as school activities are concerned. You can do this by getting a hold of the school’s calendar and letting your child know that you are aware of the schools’ activities. You must make sure that your ex also knows the activities so that your child will have that sense that both of you, as his or her parents, are concerned.
- “Back-to-School” night: It is very important that your child gets all your support, both you and your ex’s, during the “Back-to-School” night. It is the very time when she needs to shore up his or her confidence level and show to the rest of the school that she’s loved and that she is special. You must be mindful that both you and your ex’s presence, peaceful presence at that, will really be huge boost to your child’s self-esteem.
- Plan the After School Activities. Tip number four extends tip number three not only to the “Back-to-School” night but to your child’s other activities like his or her recitals, games and other engagements in school. In dealing with the presence of your ex, you must agree beforehand that you both are there for your child and must set aside divorce issues. This time is not about the two of you but about your child.
- Talk to the Teacher: Tip number five further extends both your presence to your child’s school conferences. Again, in attending to your child’s school conference, both you and your ex should agree ahead that it’s not about your divorce, but about your child’s schooling. The focus should be your child and her studies and therefore both of you should be there for him or her.
- Menu Plan: The next tip, tip number six, deals with your child’s school lunches. As much as possible, be on top of what your child needs and wants for his or her lunch. If you can show to your child that you are as much concerned with her studies as well as what you like to eat, he or she will definitely feel your love. You must also make sure that this concern is extended by your ex and you can do this by, again communicating this concern way ahead of time in an atmosphere of concern for your child.
- Be flexible with your child’s major homework assignments. Make sure that he or she will be in the best place to create what it is that here she needs to do in order to excel at school. If your child is more comfortable doing his or her major homework assignment at his or her Dad’s home, then let him or her have that space.
- Talk to your Ex: Make sure that both you and your ex are communicating enough to each about your child. This way your child will feel that both of you have his or her best interest at heart. This will also ensure that you will not be entangled in the “you-against-your ex-spouse” game.
- Have the “Night Before Bedtime” chat. Make sure that you spend enough time listening and talking with your child about just about anything. It doesn’t necessarily have to be just before bedtime, anytime will do as long as you can provide lots of empty space and quiet time with each other and share things back and forth with your child.
- Talk to your child. Make sure that you are communicating with your child all the time and wrapping them in the security that you will take care of the situation. Communicate and let them know that without a doubt you will always be there for him or her.
Thank you to Ellen Kellner for these important tips.