What should I tell my kids’ school about my divorce?

“This is a really good question because so many parents get divorced and never say a word to their school or to their children’s teacher. I think that is a mistake,” said Brooklyn teacher Jeanine Palmeretti. “Teachers can be a part of the support network for one or both parents and certainly it helps to know what is happening so that we can properly interpret changes in the child’s conduct and get them the help they need whether the guidance counselor or what have you.”

I would tend to agree with this. Often times the teachers already have sensed that something is going on with the youngster because he or she has begun to act differently. For example, maybe a well-behaved child has suddenly started to act out. Maybe the child complains of not feeling well all the time and spends practically the whole school day at the nurse’s office. Maybe the child has begun to isolate him or herself from classmates. If teachers are told by parents what is going on (without necessarily going into too much detail) then it can only help the teacher and school administrators to better deal with the child in the school environment.

Moreover, with divorce there could be changes in who picks up the youngster, (even who is allowed to pick up the youngster based on any court orders) where the child lives and other matters such as after school activities that take place on school grounds etc.

It is very important that parents and school have open communication about this.

Also important is not to put the child’s teacher or administrators in the middle of the drama. Parents need to act like adults and to remember that the teacher is not a referee or marriage counselor. So parents should refrain from giving too much information and from bad-mouthing the other parent to the child’s teacher. But definitely the teacher should know that parents are divorcing.

 

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