Separation, Divorce, the Pandemic and Your Child’s Academics
Depending on which school district you reside in, you may or may not have your child attending school in person. Regardless of what safety restrictions may be in place regarding the pandemic, going through a separation and / or divorce may impact your child’s academic performance..
Some children may find it difficult focusing in class or doing homework. Special needs children will have an even more challenging time, especially if home schooling. If your child remains home while attending class online you hopefully have a decent classroom set up. However, this may not be enough to keep your child focused on his or her academics. Just as a child can easily attend class online, a child can also easily surf the internet or simply not attend class. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to a child no longer performing academically:
Are homework assignments missing?
If there is an online dashboard keeping track of your child’s performance, do you notice any missing homework assignments? Does it only occur on a certain day? Is it consistent? Has the teacher communicated with you or are you being left in the dark?
How is attendance?
Typically if there is an online dashboard tracking homework assignments and grades the dashboard also has a section to track your child’s attendance. Are there any surprises with attendance where you see your child marked as absent when you thought they were dropped off at school or attended online? This could be a huge red flag and should be addressed immediately with yourself, the school principal, teacher(s), your spouse / ex-spouse, and your children. If your child was dropped off or presumed going to school and has been marked absent, your child may be skipping school.
Have grades changed drastically?
Your child’s academics may be recorded in semesters or quarters. Regardless, do you notice a downward trend in grades?
Have you noticed changes in your child’s sleeping or eating patterns?
Even if your child has no absences and completes homework, your child’s health and wellness may impact their academic performance. Children may tend to worry or feel sad or angry during a separation or divorce and may have trouble sleeping or may no longer have an appetite. Pay attention to see if your child has any sudden changes in eating and sleep habits.
Is your child alone during the school day?
Does your child find opportunities to stay away from other people? Sometimes a child may want to disassociate themselves from other children due to embarrassment; some children may be embarrassed to share with classmates that their parents are separated or getting a divorce. If your child is isolated, your child’s mental health may be impacted and ultimately this could affect their academic performance.
Is your child being reprimanded for bad behavior?
Your child may have been a historically good student and worked well with others. The stress of a separation or divorce may cause your child to change his/her behavior .. Don’t assume your child’s teachers will communicate your child’s behavioral or emotional problems with you. It would be best to be proactive and ask the teachers if they notice a change in school as well.
While divorce or separation is difficult for all parties involved, it should be your goal to maintain your child’s focus on their academic performance. As a proactive and responsible parent, it would be best to reach out to your child’s teacher while going through the divorce process to see if there have been any changes. It would also be best to inform the principal’s office, your child’s teachers, and the school’s security or police officer if a restraining order is in place. Be sure to update your child’s emergency contact information if changes have gone into effect.
About the Firm
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