When a divorcing couple has school-age children, one of their primary concerns is often that the break-up doesn’t affect their kids’ performance in school. The studies showing that divorce can have a negative effect on children’s grades and even their educational accomplishments as they get older can be disturbing.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Even if you and your co-parent don’t agree on much these days, you can both commit to helping ensure that your child continues to perform at whatever level they’re capable of. Here are a few things you can do to help.
Have consistent rules and expectations
If your child knows their parents remain united in their expectations of them, that’s a big step in the right direction. You can do this by:
- Making homework a priority in both homes (before computer games, TV and other activities.
- Ensuring that their teacher and all school personnel have both sets of contact information and share grades and other information with both of you
- Sharing information about pending projects and assignments with your co-parent ahead of their parenting time
- Attending parent-teacher meetings together (and focusing on your child rather than blaming each other for any problems)
- Attending school events your child is taking part in (science fairs, spelling bees, concerts, plays and so forth)
- Agreeing on corrective actions if your child is failing to do what you know they’re capable of doing and not leaving the discipline to one parent
As you’re working out your parenting plan, it can be wise to codify some of these things in it so that you’re both clear on what you both expect of your child – and each other.
As you work through your divorce, it’s wise to focus on how you can best continue to provide a united parenting front. This will help give your child a sense of security, even if they may not like the fact that they can’t easily pit one parent against the other like some of their friends may do. Having sound legal guidance will help.