7 Tips on Sending Your Child Back to School When You’re Divorced
Back-to-school month can be stressful for both children and their parents. The stress levels involved can be much higher for divorced parents. Even if your relationship with your former spouse is strained, however, it’s possible to work together. How well you manage to work together can affect your child’s success in school. The following tips can help you.
Share the cost of the school supplies
It can help to alleviate some of the stress of sending your child back to school if you agree to split what it costs to buy new clothes and supplies. Going shopping together for your child and picking clothes, lunchboxes, and shoes can be a great way to show your child how much they matter to you.
Talk to your child’s teacher
It’s a good idea to let your child’s teacher know what the situation at home is like. If someone remarries, it can help the teacher know who the parents are, as well. Letting the teacher know can also help with friction-free parent-teacher communication, which can be important for a child’s success. A study called Influence of Student-Teacher and Parent-Teacher Relationships on Lower Achieving Readers’ Engagement and Achievement in the Primary Grades has found that well-established parent-teacher relationships have an effect on a child’s development.
Help your child prepare for school, together
It’s a good idea to work together to help your child do everything he or she needs to get used to the idea of going to school again. If your child needs to establish a new, early bedtime in the week leading up to school, for example, both parents should enforce the new time together. If possible, you should take your child to school together on the first day. Your child needs to know that both parents care about school.
Share an online school calendar of activities
From school events to extracurricular activities and homework, there are lots of things that both parents need to keep up with when a child goes back to school. It can help to put up a calendar of school activities online, in a place that both parents can access. This way, no matter which parent the child is with, the other parent can keep up.
Go to parent-teacher meetings together
Both parents need to be involved in a child’s school experience. Going to parent-teacher conferences or meetings together is an important part of that involvement. Both parents need to know how well the child is doing in school, whether there are problems, and what needs to be done about them.
You should maintain a consistent routine
If your child lives with both parents at different times, it’s important to maintain a consistent routine at both homes. A fluctuating routine can confuse a child and can cause frustration. The times that your child goes to bed each night, wakes up in the morning, eats, or does homework, should be kept consistent.
Have conversations together about your child
Whether you get along well with your former spouse or not, it’s important to keep the relationship functional when it comes to discussing your child’s life, especially in school. It can be a good idea to set up a routine where you talk to each other twice a week about school. Each parent should keep the other informed about whatever happened when the child was with them.
Getting a child back to school can be a huge responsibility. A harmonious parental relationship can be critical to making it happen. It doesn’t have to be hard. You only need to keep your child’s best interests in mind.