A divorce is hard on everyone involved. Even in the most problematic relationships where two spouses cannot wait to be legally divorced, the legal process adds unique stress. While adults and children both suffer, adults have a better grip on the situation and tend to cope better in the aftermath.
Children experience new family dynamics after divorce, essentially a brand new world. While they do adjust to the situation, there are bumps along the way. One common issue is anxiety.
Back to school
With school back in session, some parents might think that a regular schedule and familiar setting will help their kids adjust to post-divorce life. While a stable schedule is important in helping your children through this tough time, it also presents new challenges for those suffering from anxiety.
Your children’s school and teachers can provide extra resources to benefit your child. Depending on your parenting plan, co-parents should speak with teachers about your child’s needs. If you can work together with your co-parent, you can visit the school together or individually. When returning to school for a new year, it’s important to get to know your children’s teachers in advance so both parents can take an active role in accordance with your court-approved plan and to make sure the school knows who and how to contact each of you.
Dealing with anxiety
Educator resource Understood.org provides a thorough list of methods for coping with anxiety at school. A few standout ideas, depending on your family’s unique situation, may include:
- Allowing self-calming techniques or items in the classroom
- Accommodating the child’s needs through assigned seating
- Providing adequate counseling resources
- Plans for dealing with excused absences
Your primary role as a co-parent is to help your children navigate post-divorce life. Adjusting at school often requires extra work but it’s vital for social and educational reasons.
When modification is necessary
Many co-parents experience challenges in custody, parenting plans and other previously agreed-upon conditions when summer vacation ends. Anyone who seeks a custody or parenting plan modification should consult with a family law attorney to discuss your situation.