Telling your child’s teacher that you are going through a divorce might not be high on your list of priorities, but it should be. Whatever happens in your home has an impact on your child. If your family is going through a rough patch, your child may display behavior at school that is inconsistent with their typical behavior and their teachers will begin to wonder what is going on. You might think that your child is not being affected by the swirling chaos as your relationship breaks down, their teachers know that something is up.
Be sure to tell your children about the divorce first
Before you schedule time to have a sit down with their teacher, make sure that you have had an age-appropriate conversation with your child about the divorce, about what is happening and how their life will change. Do not try to gloss things over, but also it is not fair to burden them with information that they are not equipped to handle at their age. If you need help with that, arrange some time with a family counselor who can help you help your child come to terms with the news and deal with it in appropriate ways. Let them know that you are always available whenever they want to ask questions or talk about what they are feeling.
Why should I tell my child’s teacher about the divorce?
You should be informing your child’s teacher, the school principal and nurse about your impending divorce. Do not over share or give any more information than they need to hear in order to be supportive of your child during this difficult transition. It is vital that you inform your child’s teacher because they are guaranteed to figure out that something is up at home when they begin to see your child display some uncharacteristic behavior either in the classroom or on the playground.
If the child’s living arrangements are going to change, you have to let the school know. Also, if someone else will be dropping them off and picking them up from school, their teacher and principal need to be informed.
What NOT to do when communicating with your child’s school about the divorce
When you are telling your child’s teacher about your divorce, do not disparage your spouse. Do not offer too many embarrassing details, or put the teacher in the middle if you and your spouse are not on speaking terms.
Tips for having the potentially awkward conversation
After you have told your child about the divorce, schedule a time to speak with their teacher and principal. Give them only the details they need to know. Make sure your child understands that it is OK to talk to their teacher about the divorce and ask questions. Let the teacher know if there will be any changes in how the school should be communicating with home. Inform the teacher of any changes in the child’s behavior that you might have observed and attribute to the changes going on at home.
Teachers have plenty of experience dealing with families that are going through divorce, but if you do not let them know what is going on before things get dicey they cannot be helpful or supportive. If you can do your best to make sure that your child feels loved and supported and that they always have someone that they can talk to when they have questions or are feeling anxious about all of the changes, it might cut down on their acting out in class. Communicating major changes such as divorce to your child’s school will help their teacher do a better job at being supportive as your child navigates a challenging life change.
If you are a parent who is considering divorce, you have may have questions about how it will affect your child. Our Franklin divorce lawyers can offer legal guidance to help you and your children move through this challenging transition. You are welcome to contact the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates today at 615-977-9370 or through our contact form to schedule a consultation. We serve clients from our offices in Brentwood and Columbia and throughout Tennessee.