It is not easy to keep your kids focused on school immediately before, during or after divorce. However, it is usually possible through a combination of planning, role modeling and appropriate communication. Of course, do not be afraid to seek support from those qualified to provide it.
Overall, as explained by the Ohio Department of Education, the key to keeping kids focused during divorce is to take everybody’s perspective into consideration. You are doing what you need to do: getting a divorce. However, you may want to consider doing it in a way that helps your children as much as possible.
Your first step will probably be agreeing on a child-centered divorce. Although most divorcing couples cannot agree on much, at least at first, talking with your soon-to-be-ex about putting your children first — directly or through mediated discussion — could yield some surprising common ground.
Deciding to put your children as a priority should help you set a better role model for focus. Your children will probably need some stability, which you can provide by staying focused on your own duties yourself. Divorce can make things seem like they have turned upside down, but the fact is that many of your everyday duties will not change immediately.
The next important thing to consider is communication. There are things to do and things to avoid that could help your children cope with and understand the process you and your spouse are entering. For example, it is usually a good idea to avoid badmouthing your co-parent.
Regardless of how you feel about your spouse, your children are likely to continue regarding him or her as a parent. Attempting to share your opinion in a negative way typically only leads to increased confusion and lack of focus.
One common technique that sometimes helps is prompting your children to share their feelings if they ask about yours. This shifts the discussion away from potentially confusing topics. It also allows your kids an important opportunity to let loose some of their bottled-up emotions that could otherwise distract them from their schoolwork.
Your family’s needs will be unique, and they will change throughout the divorce process. It is important to take each situation on its own and to be prepared for anything.