Helping Children Cope with Divorce

Children may face no more challenging obstacle than the divorce of their parents. Even though the decline of the marriage may have been a long drawn out affair, when the end finally comes the change is abrupt and life-changing for the children involved.

While a child is going through these changes, it is crucial that they receive continuous support, love, understanding, and compassion from adults in their lives. Many times, teachers and school staff are the adults who are best able to provide this support. This article contains some tips and valuable information for school staff who are working with kids from divorced homes.

Educators should watch for changes in the behavior of children as they adjust to the changes at home. Many teachers have become more concerned with testing and benchmarking as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act. This has taken some of their attention away from the less obvious needs of their students.

Secondly, educators should become familiar with resources in the community that are available for children living in divorced homes. Those range from after-school programs for single parents who are the sole wage earner to financial resources that will provide assistance with the cost of child care.

Thirdly, educators should provide input to school administrators regarding the need for additional social workers and counselors who can intervene on behalf of the children who may be the forgotten victims of divorce. Since school is like a second home to children during the week, it is the logical place for mental health and social welfare assets.

The most important thing a teacher can do to help is to be available to a divorced parent for one-on-one conferences or meetings to discuss how the child is dealing with the transition and to keep the lines of communication open so both adults can best deal with what the child is going through.

When a child experiences abrupt changes that are not dealt with early on, they can lead to emotional problems that can have a very long lasting effect. Educators are in a position to intervene and give support at the earliest and most critical stage of the process when the divorced family needs the most help. Paying attention to changes in the child’s behavior and opening communication with the family are important aspects of being an educator in the 21st century.

About the Author
Attorney Becca Menduni offers practical advice at Learn how divorce can be different by reading about collaborative law in Austin and how it’s changing the way that divorce is done.

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