Q&A: Is My Child’s Suspension From School My Fault? Was it my Divorce?

MY CHILD’S SUSPENSION FROM SCHOOL: IS MY DIVORCE TO BLAME?

child's suspension from school
Your child’s suspension from school could be your own fault

Your child’s suspension from school probably is your fault, yes. Sorry to say it. Divorce does seem to increase the likelihood that your child will repeat a grade or get suspended from school at some point. This is according to various reports over the last several years. Is it difficult to imagine why this might be? Your divorce definitely has an impact on your children and the effects can be negative. Notably, the effects of divorce in children are not always negative. But when the effects are negative, they can be severe.

One of the severest effects is the increased likelihood of suspension from school. This is more likely in tweens and teens than in much younger children and it is more apparent in boys than girls, according to experts. Boys are more likely to “act out” violently than girls are. They are also less likely to want to discuss their innermost feelings about the divorce. The best way they can find to show how they feel is to become uncooperative, belligerent and violent. They pick fights with other students, are rude to teachers, engage in  behaviors that are deemed inappropriate (sexual misconduct, smoking, drugs & alcohol use, etc) and otherwise leave the school administration no choice but to suspend their attendance in class.

When your child is suspended from school because of misconduct and misbehavior, of course you are going to be distraught and often times you will blame yourself for their fall. It is natural. And in part, maybe the way you and your former spouse have handled your separation or are handling your separation is a big part of the problem. And you do have some control over that. You can change and adjust your behaviors and you can take your child(ren)’s emotions into account when you decide on how to handle your divorce.

But you should also move to safeguard your child’s welfare quickly with the school because suspensions are not good on your child’s permanent records. Even with a suspension from school, your child still has rights. You should determine if the suspension was a fair and accurate remedy in the circumstance because it could be that your child was defending himself or herself from bullies; as well as it could be that the school administrators over-reacted. Further, it could be that what your child needs is some kind of emotional or psychological help, of which a school suspension would the least effective solution.

You will need to work with the school, with your child and with other professionals that include counselors and social workers, therapists and others, to help your child and stop any downward spiral that is the direct and proximate result of your divorce.

Consider also that a change in custodial arrangement might be the right antidote in this situation.

 

Good luck.

 

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BY Marion TD Lewis

 

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