Spring may be the time of new beginnings, but did you know that the first quarter of a new year consistently brings the highest numbers of couples to file for divorce or legal separation?
Divorce is almost always accompanied by conflict and stress. Conflicts between parents and parental stress can be damaging to children. Even if the separation is amicable, children will have to adjust to a single-parent household or moving between two households.
Children are at higher risk during this time for emotional, physical, as well as academic distress. But children are resilient and they can make it through this transition without lasting negative effects.
A Unified Team
The importance of creating a unified team cannot be emphasized enough! This team would ideally include parents, caregivers, and educators to support children during this difficult time.
Because teachers are with children for hours every day, they observe and feel the effects of behavioral issues stemming from their students’ difficult family transitions. Parents should communicate with their children’s teachers to let them know what’s going on. This opens a dialogue and the teacher can share with the parents if there’s anything going on with the child’s behavior or academics at school.
Here are links to 8 resources to support all parties involved in divorce, or separation:
University of Missouri Extension provides a comprehensive article guiding teachers on how to work closely with families during family transitions. It includes appropriate actions teachers can take, current terminology to use, and also classroom activities that support children from all kinds of families.
teAchnology, an online teacher resource website, provides a short article with 5 practical suggestions for teachers to support students going through divorce.
Two Families Now is an online parent education and family stabilization course for parents going through a divorce or separation developed by IRIS Educational Media. The course teaches practical skills and shows parents how to best support and protect their children using entertaining wrong way/right way video scenarios.
Child-Centered Divorce Network is a support network with resources for parents before, during, and after a divorce or separation. It includes access to advice, articles, individual coaching sessions, books, as well as other websites to help a family through this transition.
The National Association of School Psychologists posted a well thought-out article, Divorce: A Parent’s Guide for Supporting Children, written by a school psychologist. The article gives a good overview of how parents can support their children, especially early in the divorce process.
School Family has an easy to read article with very practical tips for supporting a child in and out of school during the divorce process.
Sesame Street has developed songs, activities, stories, and short videos to help young children work through their feelings about divorce.
Kids’ Turn Central is a hub that provides a number of options for children and teens to read about divorce and receive support, as well as learn about what other children have experienced through their parents’ divorces. The focus is on both educating a child going through a divorce and helping a child learn how to support a friend going through a divorce.